Are There Any Benefits To Hiking

You maybe asking yourself, are there any benefits to hiking? And the short answer is yes.

  • Reduce Body Fat. Hiking can help you to lose weight and reduce body fat, by increasing the number of calories you burn in a day.
  • Tone Muscles.
  • Strengthen Bones.
  • Improve Heart Health.
  • Reduce Risk of Disease.
  • Improves Brain Health.
  • Improves Mental Health.

Are you looking to increase your health and well-being? Hiking in the outdoors is a great activity and one of the simplest ways to be more active. Hiking has many positive effects on both the body and the mind.

Here is my top health tips.

1. Improve the health of your heart

Hiking is a form of cardiovascular exercise, which are activities that increase your heart and respiratory rates as you work to supply the body with oxygen. Hiking, increases the blood flow to the small vessels around your heart, where blockages can build over a period of time. This increase in blood flow which, can lower your risk of heart disease and improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

2. Improving muscle gain and strengthening the bones

Hiking is a great way to build stronger and healthier muscles and bones. Every hiking trail requires you to adapt to different inclines and declines. Each hike will test your body with a new challenge. You will be using different parts of your body in different situations. As you progress over time, you will start to feel better as your muscles gain mass and bones strengthen. You will start to feel fitter.

3. Mental Health

It improves self-perception, self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. You will start to feel better the more you engage in the outdoor life.

4. Start slow

A short local hike to start with is better for beginners. Gradually work up to the inclines, declines and uneven ground, even a small incline will increase your heart rate and burn extra calories. Don’t go rushing in, you will do yourself an injury, and more than likely put yourself off doing it again. Use trekking poles to aid and support you as you walk, these are great for balance, inclines and declines.

 

What To Take With You

If you’re planning on spending a day out on the trails, it is important to bring all the hiking essentials to keep you comfortable and safe. This is a basic checklist that can cover you for a wide range of situations and conditions.

The checklist will walk you through the basics of what to wear and what to take with you on the trails. Take a normal sized rucksack with you depending on how many things you’re wanting to have with you. You will be wearing whatever you want to wear depending on the weather on that particular day, although you will not regret taking some extra clothing.

It is always a good idea to take a fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket with you in case the temperature drops or the wind becomes strong. Also, hats, gloves, and sunglasses are always a good choice. Your socks are just as important as you’re hiking boots, woollen socks are best.

Portable charger, Nobody wants to be stuck on a hiking trail with a dead battery on their phone or Garmin GPS and no clue what to do if your lost. Avoid disaster and take a solar powered charger with you, so you don’t fall off the grid, should you need some assistance.

Sunscreen, even on non-sunny yet bright days you can still get sunburn. The likelihood of this increases dramatically when your at high altitudes, so anyone hiking should put on some protection, don’t forget your face, even on a winter’s day as a safety measure.

Insect repellent, Nobody likes being bothered by bugs all day long, so plan ahead and have some insect repellent with you.

A torch, a phone probably has a torch I know, you are likely going to hike in the daylight. However, you can never be too safe when out on your route, so taking a torch is worthwhile.

Emergency blanket, don’t take a blanket from home this will just add weight to your rucksack. Instead, take an emergency blanket made of foil, these are very lightweight and add some warmth and protection from the elements.

Duck tape is another good idea, as it can repair clothing and equipment.

Water, you need only take enough water,(2 litres) for drinking and cooking, you can always find water on your travels, depending on where your going. A lot of hiking trails do have water sources on route. If you source water from a pond or a standing water source, make sure you boil it first before consumption.

Energy drinks, don’t take energy drinks, instead take a packet of energy tablets with you that you can put in your water, to give you an extra boost.

Snacks, Protein bars are a brilliant and easy on the go, snack. This is a healthier option and will give you a longer lasting boost compared to some chocolate biscuits.

Sanitiser, an absolute must! Wipes can get dirt off your hands but hand sanitiser is what will refresh your hands and kill any bacteria, so you’ll want to have some of this handy.

Clean clothes, so when you finish your hike or camping trip, you have something to change into when you get back to the car.

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Preparation

Preparations for camping are tedious and long because of the need to take time and pack everything that is needed. Forgetting certain things can have an adverse effect on the quality of camping experience.

What about the tent, sleeping bag and cooking

Will you be camping on or off campsites, or maybe even stay in hostels or B&Bs; on your trek.

You want a good lightweight tent so don’t go and buy a tent because it cost £40 pounds or $50 dollars. Cheap is not good, so look at something in the range of 200 to 400 pounds or dollars. This will protect you from the rain and wind and will not leak like cheaper tents.

Duck down or goose down sleeping bags are very good at keeping you very warm, and of course an inflatable air mattress for comfort. Most air mattresses will come with a pillow fitted, but if you want to take a camping pillow with you this is fine.

You could always just roll up your jacket and use that. Don’t go for a cheap sleeping bag as you will be very cold at night. Also, if you have been wearing cotton socks on your trip, make sure you change into some woollen socks before bed, as your cotton socks will be damp through sweat, (hang up to dry)

I have tested camping stoves from the likes of Campingaz, Coleman, Halfords and Vango to help me breeze through cooking, what I found the best for me was a trangia stove and a trangia fuel bottle with a safety valve for peace of mind.

Have a look around and invest in something that interest you, their are lots on the market. Don’t think about taking double burners and things of that nature, don’t forget you have to carry this on your back and will result in aching limbs and sore feet at the end of the day.

Conclusion

camping is a scary but an adventure people have been doing for many years. It’s a learning experience to take risks, to get outside and, explore the wildlife. Camping has always been a peaceful activity and will bring all involved closer together. Camping is a favourite pastime activity among many people because it is cost-effective. Its advantages include socializing, participation in physical activity, relaxation, reduction of mental stress.

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