Last Updated on June 2, 2021 by Daleria Kristy
Hiking can simply be introduced as an aerobic activity of energetic intensity. When you are moving up and down mountains, this activity increases your intensity and is highly beneficial to your heart. Also whenever you hike through the hills, you actively engage your leg muscles for some period of time. Hence, it significantly strengthens them.
Does Hiking Count As Cardio?
Without much ado: yes. Hiking can be referred to as a significant way to increase your heart rate and ensure your muscles are moving. Hiking in known to be most effective if you are performing it on a rough terrain, as opposed to a flat surface or tarred road. It requires additional effort to walk over stumps and rocks. However, a lot of hikes may include altitude change, mountains and hills which also add to cardio benefits. For instance, hiking from Mount Everest base camp and back is being regarded as cardio with elevation change.
When comparing with other cardio practices, it was discovered that hiking possibly will not increase your heart rate the way running does. Thus, hiking can be a more effective cardio exercise than normal walking if you choose a more rugged terrain for the practice. As a matter of fact, hiking is simply a combination of the best aspect of running and walking. It is a form of exercise that has a milder impact on your joints than running however hiking uses more of body actions (swinging your arms harder to build strength, moving over rocky terrain, drive your body up a gradient) than walking.
In addition, hiking is preferably more fascinating. This theoretically makes it more fun than running and walking on tarred road or treadmill which turn out to be stress free for you to move further. You will not easily get jaded or tired. When you do hiking in wood, you engage your senses of sight, touch, sound and smell as turn out to be an adventure.
How Can You Make Hiking A Better Workout?
In order to get an utmost cardio benefit while hiking, you will need a pair of trekking poles to grab. These poles will assist you to increase your speed and integrate more body action. This result to burning of more calorie. You can also move towards challenging paths such as mountains, hills and slopes. However, if you are a newbie to hiking, it will be advisable to begin on a flat or smooth terrain and progress to the next level.
I am a bit sure you are aware that hiking proffer lots of other benefits aside cardio. When you hike through the forest or woodland, your senses are being rewarded by the nature and you do not feel you are working or exercising. It’s just like you are going for an adventure that involves benefits such as views, shedding of fat, a sense of achievement and muscles strengthening.
Hiking on rough surfaces in nature will help you to improve your equilibrium and spatial consciousness. Also, hiking in nature gives you peace of mind that you may not get while walking or running through the neighborhood. There is this impression that time slows down in the forest which makes you feel much more refreshed and stress-free. You will also get to enjoy the cool air and vitamin D from the sun which will do more good for your body. You can start increasing your cardio endurance by working out for 20-minutes on a treadmill.
Mental Benefits Of Hiking
Clear Your Mind
When you hike in a natural settings, you will discover that it is more effective than trekking the whole city. It is a known fact that any form of walking is beneficial to the physical health, however walking through a natural environment is also a plus as it contribute immensely to the mental health. Hiking through a rural setting provides increased mental benefits over walking in a urbanized environments. Furthermore, hiking may appear to be responsible for the reduction of the effect of the part of your brain that induce bad moods
Boost Your Brain
You do not need to wait till you start suffering from mental health challenges before you receive a hike induced boost for your brain.
It has been proven in a Research that individuals who pass most of their time in the natural environment and little time with technology are 50% more creative when it comes to a task that involves problem-solving.
Also, individuals that are involve in regular walk and hike have a better memory than those who rarely go out to visit nature.
You being consistent with nature can go long way to restore cognitive functions like memory and focus.
Improve Your Outlook
When people ruminate, there is a tendency that such individuals might over-analyze their personal negative feelings and experiences. Hence, your involvement in hiking reduces the possibility of you to over think these experiences.
For the purpose of improving your mental health, running on a treadmill can help but you will get better result when you hike in a natural environment. Nature hiking can help you combat general mental challenges like depression and stress.
Forests, hills, mountains and beaches are typical example of nature with diverse settings which is more interesting than the gymnasium, however you can easily imagine how walking through the nature or park will make you feel happier.
Unplug From The World
Hiking will always provide you a welcome break from the tech. You are always watching the television, checking your phone and most times plugged in to the globe’s network. However, walking in environment with no Wi-Fi will really help you to get rid of the impacts of mental fatigue that technology addiction brings.
Why Does Hiking Burn So Many Calories?
Calories burned hiking
The amount of calories you are assumed to shed when hiking greatly depends different factors, most especially your weight and trail grade or the gradient of the track.
This table estimates the number of calories burned per hour based on weight and trail grade at an average walking speed of 2.9–3.5 mph (4.7–5.6 kph).
|Weight||1–5% Grade||6–15% Grade|
|120 pounds (55 kg)||292||440|
|150 pounds (68 kg)||360||544|
|180 pounds (82 kg)||435||656|
|210 pounds (95 kg)||504||760|
|240 pounds (109 kg)||578||872|
|270 pounds (123 kg)||652||984|
According to the above table, a grade of 1–5% is gentle, while 6–15% ranges from medium to steep. Some tracks may have a grade as high as 35%, which will turn out to burn more calories.
It is better when have a clue of how different grades feel by steadily raising the gradient on a treadmill.
There are also some other factors that can greatly influence the amount of calorie you burn which included the weight of your backpack, temperature, your age, and sex.
What Kind Of Exercise Is Hiking?
Why Hiking Is Awesome For Your Entire Body
1. Moving up and down mountains keeps the heart pumping, making a great aerobic exercise.
2. Like most aerobic workouts, hiking can assist you in lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol, and even some cancers.
3. As hiking is commonly known as a weight-bearing exercise, it can assist in the development of muscle mass and also helps avert bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
4. Hiking is a common exercise that can assist you in maintaining your body mass.
5. It is a joint-friendly form of exercise that can keep arthritis sufferers more limber and mobile. To avert
6. Any outdoor exercise like hiking offers the body with vitamin D
7. Individuals that are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, can possibly reduce, or even eradicate, their need for insulin by getting involved with regular hiking. You can have a discussion with physicians on how exercises can help reduce your need for drugs.
8. Hiking provides psychological advantages, regularly contributing, and promotes to a feeling of relaxation and improved well-being.
If you are by any chance be hypertensive or have heart disease, ensure you see your physician before you begin hiking. You being healthy is not an assurance that you can just start hiking, climbing up and down can be a completely new sport. You completely utilize different muscles than you do on flat terrain. All you need to do is to study your body limit.