The Benefits of Hiking
What are these Benefits that Hiking can bring you?
The popularity of Hiking is forever growing by leaps and bounds. This growth can be attributed, in part, to the benefits that walking and hiking provide. As a cardio workout, it beats all takers for ease, affordability, and start-up.
Its advantages to the heart and lungs have been proven time and again by numerous medical studies. Studies at Stanford have proven this as well.
In addition to the physical benefits that outdoor exercise offers, there are also social, phycological, and spiritual benefits to be accrued as well. A walk around a lake, or along a river bank, and in a flower-covered, alpine meadow can do wonders for the soul.
Hard to believe that all of this can be had, free of charge.
Walking the Lakeshore
Hiking around the lakeshore has become one of my favorite pastimes. The birds and mammals that frequent the lakeshore have become my friends and for nothing in return but to be left alone to go about their day.
Hiking around the lake today felt very much like Spring was in the air. The birds were fluttering about in the trees and the Bufflehead males were splashing the waters and chasing away their rivals. The sun was glistening on the lake and the air felt warm and much drier than it has been in the past few days.
The Bufflehead males were dressed in their best whites and blacks and the Coots were also enjoying their morning swim. In the trees, I saw a Bushtit, a Sparrow, and Black-Capped Chickadee.
As I slowly made my way around a bend in the lake, the Rufous Hummingbird was perched on top of a thin branch, lazily dancing in the wind. I could hear the Canada Geese chattering away amongst themselves. Their cackling was soon drowned out by four Tundra Swans flying overhead, on their way to parts unknown.
Spring is about 40 days away and yet I feel especially excited this year about its return. This new uneasiness is due in large part to a more focused approach to photography.
What Did I Bring on this Peaceful Hike along the Lakeshore?
This is a short 2.3-kilometer walk around a small lake. There is almost no elevation gain and this Hike can be classified as very easy. I did not bring the regular day bag that I carry when I go on longer hikes in more secluded parts of Nature.
I did, nonetheless, bring my camera. The camera that I was carrying today is the Pansonic Lumix DMC-FZ 1000. I have owned this camera for a few years now, and I must admit that I am growing quite fond of it.
It is a bridge camera and very newbie friendly.
The Physical Benefits of Hiking
The advantages we reap from walking and hiking are almost proverbial. Numerous studies have proven beyond all doubt, that moderate physical exercise is of tremendous benefit to the heart and our entire body in general.
Hiking is an excellent Cardio workout. The physical benefits alone should be enough to get everyone hiking in some form. It is easily paired with many outdoor activities.
Hiking pairs well with Fishing, Photography, Gold Panning, and Cave Exploration, to mention only a few.
These cardio benefits can,
- lower your risk of heart disease
- lower your blood pressure
- improve bone density
- strengthen your legs, hips, and core
- improve your balance, and
- help to control your weight
The benefits of walking and hiking are too numerous to mention in this short post.
Hiking also burns a lot of calories. The heavier you weigh the more calories you will usually burn. In fact, average human beings (if there is such a creature), can expect to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour.
Just enough to burn up that piece of apple pie if it is not topped off with too much vanilla ice cream.
More Benefits from Hiking
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word hiking is arduous physical exercise. It does not need to be the case.
Walking is the beginning of your hiking experience. Start slowly if you are new to the sport. In time you will become a seasoned hiker.
Most cities and towns offer lots of opportunities for short, easy hikes close to home. Modern day city planners always consider ways to make their cities and towns more eco-friendly.
This becomes an important tool for attracting tourists and long-term dwellers to their areas. The result is that many natural features are provided with paths and walkways.
Comfortable clothing and footwear and you are ready to go!
One of the best Cardio Exercises
This aerobic activity brings new oxygen and fuel to your muscles, organs and body tissues to strengthen your muscles, increase your stamina and improve your energy levels.
Helps cure insomnia
If you have trouble falling asleep, an evening hike after dinner will make falling asleep much easier. You will feel much more rested when you awake in the morning.
Why not begin your day with a 30-minute walk. Lots of relaxed time to plan and organize the new day.
Free Vitamin D from the sun
The best source of Vitamin D comes from the sun. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for strong bones and muscles.
I’m sure you’ll agree that a pleasant hike around the lake, in the park, or along a riverbank is a relaxing exercise that very few people fail to enjoy.
Comments, Questions, and Suggestions
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about the physical, social, or psychological benefits of hiking, do not hesitate to leave them in the space below.