Fit is definitely in. A quick scroll through your Instagram explore page alone will reveal hundreds of fit chicks and buff bros motivating others through their inspiring transformation journeys. I know it always makes me want to head to the nearest gym and pump some iron. But maybe the gym isn’t your jam or the whole process seems a tad bit overwhelming. It shouldn’t be. Do you know you can get a full body workout from something as simple as a hike? Yup. And with summer right around the corner, it’s a prime time for this versatile activity. Here are five reasons to get up and at it.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure affects millions of people across the globe, with medication being the most common and costly remedy. Studies have shown that regular hiking can lower both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The systolic reading is the higher number, which indicates the pressure in the arteries during the heart’s contractions and the process of pumping blood into the body. The diastolic pressure is the lower number which simply shows the pressure in the arteries when the heart is in a relaxed state. A regular regimen of exercise, in tandem with a proper, low-sodium diet and in some cases medication can help control and lower the risk of high blood pressure. Hiking is a fantastic and fun option.
Prevents Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one killer of women and is considered more deadly than all types of cancer combined. Hiking decreases cholesterol levels, which is the main culprit in deteriorating cardiovascular health. This silent assassin is the result of many more factors than just inactivity but incorporating hiking into your regular routine will go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of heart disease.
One hour of hiking alone can burn up to 500 calories. The steeper the incline, the better. In addition, the lower body will be totally toned up; think glutes, quads and hamstrings. Adding a weighted backpack will also get those upper body muscles involved. Still need convincing? Hiking increases bone density and slows the rate of calcium loss thereby curbing osteoporosis; a bone disease which generally affects older women lacking enough calcium. It’s not just milk that does a body good.
There is nothing more demotivating than a workout which seems like a chore instead of a natural extension of your lifestyle. That’s what so great about hiking. It’s the type of activity that lends itself to socialization. It’s also highly recommended to bring friends on a hike. Not only does the time together help foster and strengthen relationships, but as a bonus you get to shape up while doing so.
Unfortunately, depression and stress are familiar foes for many. Researchers have found that hiking releases endorphins, the hormones which produce a rush of pleasure and also adrenaline, which when accumulated can cause those anxious feelings. It also doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by lush greenery or scenic views during a trek. The combination of productivity and natural beauty is a simple spirit lifter.
So grab some friends and hit those trails. Even your heart will thank you. Not sure where to begin? Check out some of our hiking packages. ( http://lifeculturr.com/outdooractivities/ )
Tags: Hiking, Fitness, Health, Nature