Ever Been Told to Take a Hike? It's Great Weight Loss Advise.
Let's face it, an exercise bike or elliptical trainer might give you a workout, but it's not necessarily fun. In your quest to lose weight or maintain that weight loss, however, exercise is definitely your friend. So — why don't you take a hike?
Like all walking activities, hiking builds heart health and physical fitness. Regular exercise lowers your risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, and the American Hiking Society notes that hiking can help. Hiking uneven terrain promotes flexibility and builds muscle strength (especially hiking uphill). Like all weight-bearing exercises, hiking builds strong bones to decrease your risk of osteoporosis.
It's All In The Mind
Spending time outdoors has been found to increase mental creativity, according to an article in the Huffington Post. Walking anywhere is much more beneficial in getting those creative juices flowing, and hiking offers the opportunity to enjoy some gorgeous scenery during your daily workout. Hiking can lower stress levels and decrease anxiety, probably because it helps your brain release those feel-good chemicals known as endorphins.
When it comes to weight loss, the Huffington Post notes an hour of hiking can burn up 500 calories. You might boost that figure by choosing steeper inclines or carrying a pack. You can also burn more calories by picking up the pace. Be careful not to sabotage your diet; stick to high-fiber, nutrient-dense snacks and drink water.
You don't necessarily have to head out into the wilds to find places to hike. Even in a city, there are often hiking trails in major parks. If you're lucky enough to live close to the ocean or mountains, you may need to take a short drive to find the perfect spot. Take a hike for your health — you'll be glad you did.
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