Hiking Health Benefits: Lose Weight and Stay Fit

Studies prove that hiking is a great way to stay healthy and fit

Flickr/Gunnar Hildonen

Spending some time trekking out in the great outdoors is great for your mind and your body. Just picture all of the physical exertion as you climb steep hills with your camp on your back, and continue for miles and miles. Sometimes hiking can be extremely strenuous, other times, you may enjoy it so much you barely notice that the extended walking is a workout. Either way, hiking is a great way to stay fit.

Related: Hiking Health Benefits: Boosting Creativity

According to the American Hiking Society, hiking is one of the best ways to lose weight and stabilize cholestesterol. For every mile that you walk, on average, you can burn over 100 calories. For an hour at 2.5 miles an hour, you can burn 200 to 250 calories, and if you are walking 4.5 miles per hour (just over a 13-minute mile pace) you burn about 500 calories an hour. Getting outside and moving can help you lose and maintain weight. Not to mention, walking is a weight-bearing exercise so it can provide you with good posture, muscles, and stronger bones.

But beyond the physical intensity, and active qualities of hiking that get you fit and in shape, recent research has found a correlation with obesity and altitude. The study found that people where four to five times more likely to be obese at low altitude in comparison to higher altitude populations. Higher altitude communities such as Colorado (where there’s a lot more hiking!) tend to be more fit.

Hiking keeps you healthy, it’s that simple. The fresh air, the wooded trails, the uphill battle against a mountain, all play a factor in your physical health. Another study even proved that long distance hiking can actually improve the aoC in the blood of oncological patients, that means it can actually help cancer patients recover.

Not convinced on all the perks, well click here for more reasons hiking is great for your health.


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