Hike Your Way To Peak Fitness (Tips And Tricks)

by Eoin Cunningham

July 18, 2019

Hiking is a fantastic way to spend some quality time in the great outdoors and to exercise and to have some fun. Some hiking trails have the most breath-taking views, and the beautiful scenery can almost make it feel like you’re not exercising at all.

For anyone who finds being all sweaty and out of breath boring or not very enjoyable, then hiking is an absolute must try.

I’ve only recently begun hiking as I’m always looking for new, fun ways to keep fit. Trekking through mud and the wind and rain is nothing new to me because I grew up on a farm in my native Ireland. But let me tell you, hiking is a hell of a lot more fun than farming.

Honestly, I started hiking as an enjoyable way to get out and about and burn some calories, but what I’ve fallen in love with is the scenery I encounter on my hikes. It’s breathtaking at times!

Anyway, I thought I’d write this article to help people who are thinking about getting into hiking as there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye.

What To Expect

Whether or not you go out hiking should be based upon the weather conditions. If it’s a small bit chilly at sea level, don’t forget that the temperature drops by roughly one degree Celsius every 100m you climb. So you could potentially find yourself in big trouble halfway through your hike if it’s in a mountainous region. Also, you need to account for wind chill in such areas.

 

Hiking Tips And Tricks

Find The Right Trail

The first thing any would-be hiker needs to do is to find the right trail for them. For instance, I like a trail that is both incredibly scenic yet steep and tough to climb. Some people may want a trail that is more scenic than steep and vice versa.

When picking a trail base your decision on what you think you want to get out of hiking.

Oh, and to find a trail simply google search “hiking areas near me”. Use the reviews and google maps to figure out if it’s the right trail for you!

Layer Up

Now, you will be moving during your hike. So, you will be warm from movement, and that should be enough to keep you safe. Nevertheless, you should layer up before you go hiking. It’s better to wear multiple thin layers as opposed to one thick one. That way if you get too hot or cold, you can add and remove layers at your discretion.


Waterproof Clothing

Never go out on a hike without a waterproof raincoat and trousers. Ever! Weather conditions are just too unpredictable, plus it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Footwear

Generic running shoes are no good on a hike. The terrain is wet and soggy, and if your feet get cold, it is miserable. Trust me. Go out and get yourself a pair of hiking boots. Remember to break them in before you go on a hike. Nobody wants their covered in blisters.

The Benefits of Hiking

Weight Loss

Hiking is an excellent activity for anyone looking to shed a few pounds to engage in. Often times, you will spend hours marching up small inclines, which burns a whole bunch of calories.

Improves Your Mood

Research shows that time spent outdoors actually makes you a happier person and decreases negative health indicators such as stress and anxiety.

Cardiovascular Health

Every hour spent sedentary leads to a heightened risk of heart disease. When hiking, not only will you be up on your feet moving about, you’ll also be getting some cardio. So, hiking decreases your chances of contracting heart disease while also improving your heart health. It’s a win-win, to be honest.

Technology Break

Hiking is also a fantastic way for you to put the phone down out of your hand and be with nature. Contemporary society spends so much time using technology that a break is no harm.

Quality Time

While hiking has excellent mental and physical health benefits, it also has a huge upside in that it allows you to spend quality time with friends and family doing something healthy. Somewhat of a rarity nowadays.

Conclusion

Hiking is a great way to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature. On top of that, you’re sure to see yourself slimming up as a result of your hikes.

Eoin Cunningham

By Eoin Cunningham

Hi, my name is Eoin Cunningham, and I'm a freelance health, wellness and fitness content writer. I use my writing to share with others what I've learned and discuss topics that I'm passionate about. You can find me at freelancestrength.com if you'd like to learn more about me.

Read more at freelancestrength.com

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