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Why You Should Take a Hike…Literally!

Credit-Lucas Clara

As we pass the mid-point of summer, we’re only a few months away from colder weather, which means we’ll soon be huddled up inside gearing up for the holiday season.

As the stifling humidity turns into a crisp fall breeze, grab a light jacket and take a hike!

Hiking is not only great for your body, but it can also help break up those boring cardio routines. The best part is that there’s a hike for everyone, whether it’s up a mountain or a simple trail around a state park.

Finding the right trail is a piece of cake, as a quick Google search can unlock a ton of different locations.

Here’s a look at the many health benefits of hiking!

Burn, Baby, Burn!

take a hike

Credit-Cullan Smith

Hiking can really ramp up your heart rate, which also means that the amount of calories that you burn rises exponentially. Just walking up a steep hill can increase your heart rate by 20% to 40% (depending on the incline of the hill).

Also, carrying some weight on your back adds extra resistance that can help skyrocket your calorie burn!

Stronger Bones

take a hike


While bone strength and bone health may not be the biggest concern while you’re young, it becomes very important when you start getting older.

Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, which means that it helps build bone strength and prevents or delays signs and symptoms of bone loss.

Increase Your Overall Health

take a hike


There’s a long list of benefits to hiking — it helps build muscle, improve heart function, and increases respiratory health. Walking uphill for a sustained period of time also helps develop your leg muscles and hiking on an uneven surface improves balance.

On top of that, it’s a form of cardio, which helps improve your heart function. Some of these benefits include lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate, and lowered risk of heart disease, to name a few.

It can also help you keep your weight in check. Say goodbye to that stubborn belly fat!

Break Up With Boring Cardio

take a hike

Credit-Creative Commons

Hiking on a trail can help break up the monotony of traditional cardio workouts. Most trails will help you meet the time requirement for cardio training.

Another bonus is that it helps you get off the machines at the gym or that stale running route you’ve been doing over and over. Hiking one or two times a week will help you rev up your cardio workout!

Have you ever gone hiking? Tell us your favorite story in the comments below.

Written By

McDaniel College graduate, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, and future Strength and Conditioning Coach. Former DIII athlete and All-American bullpen catcher. NY/NJ area sports fan that also lives for Green Bay Packers playoff heartbreak. Binge-watcher of health and fitness related documentaries.



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