So, why hike? There are the obvious benefits of hiking like good exercise and getting outside. However, the reasons to pursue hiking go far beyond the physical benefits (of which there are many), and extend to finding a healthier and happier life through the outdoors. I’ll also add that right now, having a strong immune system is more important than ever, and through hiking, you can bolster your body’s natural ability to fight off disease.
It has always been the mission of Bearfoot Theory to get people – everyday people – outside to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. If you’re new to outdoor adventures (check out our Hiking 101 Guide here) and want to reap some of the benefits of outdoor exercise, hiking is a great place to start.
PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF HIKING
I’m going to start off by sharing some of the benefits of hiking to your physical health. While some of the physical benefits may be obvious – like weight loss – hiking has some surprising perks.
Hiking Is Good For The Heart
Hiking is great for cardiovascular health. Even light hiking can raise the heart rate to a moderate level which helps improve aerobic fitness and endurance. Over time, your body adjusts to new fitness levels and you can hike longer, faster, and harder without feeling as fatigued or out of breath.
Hiking can also improve markers associated with cardiovascular health like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. Studies have shown that going on regular moderate hikes can significantly reduce hypertension, improve glucose tolerance, and decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol levels over time.
So if cardiovascular health is a concern for you, hiking can be a great way to improve your heart health!