Any gym junkie is a visible testament to the benefits, which the gym can offer. Could it be possible that these Spartan like creatures are missing something?
I am not one to hate on the gym; I love it. It is my home away from home. Yet, over the last month I’ve rekindled my love for hiking. As the weather is getting warmer, and the mountains are fading from white to green, there is not a better time to dust off your boots and get up there.
Hiking for exercise offers many things the gym cannot.
Perhaps the sunshine could entice you to get outside. Unless my gym is behind the times, fluorescent lights have nothing on sunshine. The outdoors provides us with an opportunity to bask in the warmth of the sun. Other than feeling great, the sun also offers vitamin D. Our bodies use vitamin D to increase our bone health.
What about a changing environment? With each step your view changes, unlike the gym where you could be on the treadmill stuck behind a sweaty individual for a prolonged period of time. In Utah, we’ve been blessed with beautiful mountains and often times along these mountains trails you will see more wildlife than human life. Mentally, this offers us the opportunity to de-stress and a chance to reconnect with ourselves.
Hiking does offer important cardiovascular benefits due to the fact that it is an aerobic exercise. Heart rates will increase and decrease as the trail changes.
As your heart rate is raising and falling, your lower body is getting a great workout. As you hike your hamstrings, quads, calves, and bum are all engaged. Not only is hiking great for muscle development, but it also increases coordination and helps to raise your metabolic rate.
After an hour of walking at a leisurely at 2-MPH, an average sized person weighing 150 pounds will burn around 240 calories. For all the health benefits of hiking read the American Hiking Society view of Hiking.
Being unfamiliar with trails is the most common reason people are apprehensive to try this sport. If you visit America Hiking Trails you can find all the trails in your local area.
This indiscriminative workout is for everyone. With over 170,000 trails available across the country, there is no reason to get out there and hike.
More Good Reads: