Hiking refers to the act of walking for recreational purposes.  It is also a form of exercise that involves nature and the great outdoors.  It is a good workout that allows us to get back to nature and simply forget the monotony of everyday life.

The sights and sounds that you experience along the way can help to calm your mind and relieve of depressing thoughts.  And the feel good hormones that your body releases as you walk helps to relax you and provide you with a sense of well-being.

Here are some of the health benefits of hiking:

1. It helps to promote weight loss.

Hiking is one of the best ways to lose excess weight.  When you hike, you are actually burning 300 to 500 calories per hour depending on the trail that you are walking on.  Hiking can help to make you lose excess pounds easily and quickly, especially if you combine it with a healthy diet.

2. It helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Hiking provides cardiovascular benefits because it is an aerobic exercise that strengthens your heart muscles.  It also stimulates the expansion of the arteries and reduces blood pressure.

It helps to increase good cholesterol and inhibit bad cholesterol which is one of the primary causes of heart diseases.

3. It helps to increase the strength and density of your bones.

Hiking is one of the exercises that help to slow down calcium loss and increase bone density and strength.  Regular hiking makes your bones stronger and less likely to break.  They are also less likely to develop bone diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.

4. It helps to control diabetes.

Hiking, like other forms of aerobic exercises, helps to reduce the insulin requirement of diabetic patients.  It also helps to protect a diabetic person from the degenerative effects of the disease.

5. It helps to boost stamina.

If done on a regular basis, hiking can increase your stamina and improve your resistance to physical stress and fatigue.  It is a low-impact exercise that helps to strengthen your calves, quadriceps and leg muscles.

6. It helps to relieve stress.

Hiking, like jogging, bicycling and other forms of outdoor exercises, is an effective stress reliever.  It helps to improve the supply of oxygenated blood to your body and brain cells, making you physically and mentally alert, and feeling good.  Add to it the natural sights and sounds that you encounter along the way and you feel refreshed, revitalized and happy.

These are some of the health benefits of hiking.  It is an inexpensive exercise that requires only a pair of good boots, water, a few necessary gears and a will to start.  Do it for your health’s sake and to enjoy nature at its best.