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Why Hiking is a Great Choice for Mind and Body

by Impact Health Sharing

Impact Health Sharing

 

 

Guess what is just around the corner? Spring!

 

Some states have seen more snow than they ever dreamed of and are eager to see the signs of spring pop up! Spring is a welcome time of year. New sprouts of life, warmer weather, and opportunities to get outdoors.

 

Memories created in nature are often the most refreshing. So get out there and get moving and look for opportunities to learn and experience new things.

 

Hiking is a great choice when it comes to exercise outdoors.

 

 

What makes hiking a great choice?

 

  • Hiking is the ultimate cardio workout!

 

  • Hiking offers cardiovascular benefits; going up and down hills gives the heart a great workout.

 

  • Hiking is a natural way to engage the core muscles in your torso and hone your balance skills. Walking uphill engages the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, while hiking downhill engages the ankles, hips, and core.

 

  • Hiking can help to improve bone density by strengthening the bone tissue.

 

  • Hiking brings you into the sunshine, which provides your body with vitamin D.

 

  • Hiking can help with weight loss due to the high amount of calories that are burned. If your goal is weight loss, try starting out with two to three 50 minute hikes per week on a trail.

 

  • Hiking takes you away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.

 

  • Hiking creates the opportunity to experience new places.

 

  • Hiking is a refreshing way to spend time with those you love.

 

  • Hiking not only is a great way to get your body moving, but it is often a time you also clear your head.

 

  • Hiking also helps increase proprioception or kinanesthesia, which is the mind’s awareness of the position and movement of the body in relation to its surroundings.

 

 

Important things to make note of:

 

  • Choose the right shoes. Hiking sneakers are a great option if you don’t want to invest in hiking boots. If you decide to purchase hiking boots, which offer great ankle support, don’t forget to break them in before you go on your first hike. Blisters are a sure way to ruin the fun and cut your hike short.

 

  • Use a trekking tool. When you plant the pole out in front of you as you walk, it will take a little pressure off your knee joints.

 

  • When hiking in the winter, pack on those layers. It’s easier to take off layers than it is to wish you had them.

 

  • Bring plenty of water. If you're actively hiking, it's good to drink about 1 liter (32 ounces) of water every two hours. Hiking at a higher altitude can lead to dehydration. You may be less likely to crave water or feel thirsty at higher elevations, so it’s important to drink frequently. Hydration prevents cramping, headaches, and nausea, and gives you energy.

 

  • Bring a compass or a map and know how to use them. Sometimes cell phone signals can get lost when you are in certain terrain, especially if there are a lot of woods.

 

  • Include a first-aid kit in your backpack. Check for the essentials before you go on each hike. Essential items such as antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, bandages, gauze pads in various sizes, and medical tape.

 

  • Check the weather before you go and bring sunscreen. Choose your SPF sunscreen carefully and apply it regularly.

 

  • Collect all your trash. In fact, collect everyone’s trash. Make it your goal to leave a trail more pristine than you found it.

 

  • Stay on designated trails. Protect our natural world by leaving only footprints, taking only pictures.

 

 

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It’s the perfect time to start making plans for your spring and summer adventures, so why not check out the amazing resources below of hiking destinations?

 

If you love waterfalls, there are a number of options to experience. Reserve America has put together a list of the 13 best waterfall hikes. Check those out here!

 

If you want to hike at a National Park for Spring Break this year, this guide will give you some ideas.

 

This list of 25 hikes boasts of having the most epic trails in 2021.

If you are super adventurous and want to visit wilderness destinations to backpack in, The Wilderness Society suggests these 20 destinations offering climbing, hiking, wildlife-watching, canoeing, and even snowshoeing. Check out their list here.

 

For family-friendly hikes that will be easy for youngsters but also fun for adults, check out 9 options here.

 

 

"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow." - Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

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Tags: Health & Wellness