Does your ideal weekend include hitting up the trails? Hiking is a popular pastime among people from all walks of life. Whether you spend most of your time in the big city or have glorious hiking opportunities in your own backyard, you can reap the benefits of exploring the great outdoors through these trails. What kinds of benefits? Hiking offers more than just a great view and a fun way to spend the day. As a form of exercise, hiking improves your health in various ways. Discover some of the physical and mental benefits of hiking regularly with this overview.
Hike for a Healthy Heart
Hiking, like all aerobic exercises, is great for cardiovascular health. When you spend an afternoon on the trails, the activity raises your heart rate to a moderate level. This exertion improves aerobic fitness and cardiovascular health markers like blood pressure and cholesterol. The more you hike, the more endurance you build up. That way, you can go on longer or more challenging hikes as you continue on the path to a healthier heart.
Work All of the Muscles
It’s not hard to figure out that hiking works the muscles in your legs, but did you know it also improves muscles in your core, back, and arms? Every major muscle group in the body gets a workout when you hike. Keeping your balance over uneven terrains—such as rocks, creeks, and forest floors—utilizes your core muscles. Meanwhile, wearing a pack or using trekking poles gives your arms and back a healthy workout.
Unplug and Decompress
In today’s busy world, it’s easy to forget to take a break. This hustle and bustle might mean you go days or even weeks without spending a significant amount of time outside—especially in the fall or winter. Connecting (or reconnecting) with nature gives you a chance to unplug, decompress, and ease some of the stress building up in your day-to-day life. Moreover, the beautiful scenery you find along hiking trails is the perfect setting to pause, breathe deeply, and reflect on your current life. Hiking helps relieve stress and increase mindfulness, which, in turn, enables you to deal with whatever life throws at you.
The physical and mental benefits of hiking regularly are important, but they aren’t the only reason to hit the trails. Many people go on hikes for the chance to explore breathtaking areas, such as the trails you find in Colorado. Don your best hiking gear with a stylish Colorado patch, then hit the trails to see what benefits and adventures are waiting for you.