Today more and more people, especially in Europe and America, are adopting hiking and trekking as a major outdoor event. Not only in these countries, but the trend of hiking and trekking is also increasing in many other parts of the world. But have you ever thought, what are the health benefits of hiking and trekking? Are these outdoor events really beneficial for health? Is hiking or trekking for everyone or has some age bar? Does hiking only has health benefits or are there any psychological benefits too?
These are some questions which quite often strike in our mind. If someone seeks answer to these questions, although most of them are subjective in nature as far as the degree of benefits is concerned, but certainly the response would be positive. Most of the people would immediately say, “Yes there are countless benefits.” No doubt, there are many benefits of hiking and trekking ranging from controlling obesity to preventing heart disease to improving the quality of air we breathe.
While many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started, the hiking is relatively much simpler and more beneficial than any other exercise. Literally, anyone can put on a pair of shoes along with few necessary gears and equipments and start moving into the woods for a little fresh air-this is called hiking. The scenery, accessibility and diverse nature of hiking trails make this heart-healthy pastime attractive for people of all ages, fitness levels and income brackets. Moreover, except few points, hiking and trekking don’t require any special expertise and skills.
Hiking or trekking allows us to maintain our body in good working condition by walking which is really a good exercise. It improves our physical as well as mental health and the list of benefits from hiking and trekking is infinite. Hiking is essentially walking that is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body. You can get a chance to spend some quality time together with the Mother Nature, so it also provides a mental health antidote. Everyone can find trails to suit their physical strengths. And unlike other activities or sports, it is a pursuit that allows people to determine their own limitations.
Many research findings and studies show that hiking is an excellent way to lose extra pounds and improve overall health. To improve overall health, we don’t necessarily need to do heavy and painful workouts, but just a short brisk walk of few minutes can be more than sufficient. According to the American Heart Association, it’s best to walk vigorously for 30 to 60 minutes 3-4 times per week. But even low- to moderate intensity walking can have both short- and long-term benefits . Similarly, According to Walking for Health, people “won’t find a better way to lose weight than walking.” The results will be more permanent and pleasurable than any diet or weight loss scheme.
For example, in December, 2001, the US surgeon general called the increased rate of obesity in the United States an epidemic. The report states that 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, and the number is increasing year after year. In addition, thirteen percent of children are overweight. The report recommends that communities create safe sidewalks or walking trails to encourage physical activity . Not only these, but there are many more research findings that clearly show multiple health benefits of hiking and trekking.
When it comes to enlist the health benefits, then the list may go endless consisting of several mental as well as physical health benefits, such as losing excess pounds, preventing heart disease, decreasing hypertension or high blood pressure, improving and maintaining mental health, slowing the aging process, preventing osteoporosis, improving the quality of the air we breathe, preventing and controlling diabetes, improving arthritis, relieving back pain (which has become an epidemic in the modern contemporary world along with healthy habits for a healthy life i.e. team building skills, positive attitude, kindness, empathy. At last but not the least, hiking has countless health benefits and the beauty is that it doesn’t cost you much. Moreover, while at hiking you can take other family members and your young children along with you without much difficulty. Indeed, it is a good idea to spend more time with your family and children. For young children, it helps improve their physical stamina and team building skills.
Friends, just go for a hike, and see what we mean. Happy hiking!