This summer, we are all about getting outside. We are encouraging our Aurorae family to take advantage of the sunny summer weather and shake up their routines with some extra time in the great outdoors. One great way to enjoy the many benefits of being outside is through hiking!
Hiking has many health benefits that will leave you feeling great inside and out. You can access hiking areas in many ways: maybe your next summer vacation is close to the mountains, or perhaps there are some great local trails in your area that you don’t know about yet! A google search is all you need to find a place nearby. Then, you can throw on your hiking boots, some comfortable clothes, bug spray, and go on an adventure!
- Cardio Health
One of the best benefits of hiking is that it gets the heart rate elevated and the blood pumping. Hiking for cardio decreases risk of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
- It’s Low Impact.
Hiking is a low impact workout that is accessible to people of many different fitness levels. Running is normally done on concrete or asphalt at a quick pace, so can be difficult on the joints. However, hiking trails are softer, and hiking is done at a slower pace, so it’s much easier on the joints and knees.
- Weight Loss and Toning.
Depending on the incline of the hike, how much weight you are carrying in your bag, and how fast you are going, you can burn up to 500 calories in an hour of hiking. Let’s say you hike some trails for 2 and a half hours, that is 1250 calories! Anyone who counts calories knows that 1250 is a significant number. Also, hiking helps tone the entire body, but particularly the lower body, targeting the glutes, thighs, and quads. The calorie burn combined with the toning makes it an amazing, full body workout.
- Improved Mood
The mental health benefits of hiking are numerous. Hiking is normally done with at least one companion, and group exercise has been known to greatly increase people’s moods and significantly boost endorphins. But no matter who you hike with (or if you hike alone!), hiking has so many amazing benefits, including, “greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.” Your mood will be improved greatly by spending time outside in nature.
So, the hiking has numerous health benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. For those of us that spend a lot of time throughout working indoors throughout the week, taking a weekend hiking trip can be just what we need to feel completely refreshed and renewed.
But really, whether your chosen activity is swimming, walking, doing yoga outside, biking, or hiking, we encourage you to throw on some sunscreen and get outside and experience the great benefits of the great outdoors!