Hiking provides a variety of awesome benefits including building muscles and boosting the mood.

A moderate-intensity hike is a great alternative to using a treadmill in the gym or other cardio workout. Start slowly with hiking and progress over time to the next level.

Most of the hiking trails are given a difficulty rating (easy, moderate, experienced), so make sure to start out on the right terrain to match the existing ability.

Why hiking is a good exercise

Here are ten good reasons why hiking can benefit the health and well-being:

Bone density

A regular hike helps to fight-off bone loss and strengthens the bones. Hiking at least 2.5 hours per week has the potential to prevent joint stiffness and improve joint flexibility, which is especially helpful for those suffering from arthritis.

Cancer

Aerobic exercise like hiking has the potential to fight-off the development of certain cancers. Regular physical exercise is said to lower the risk of colon and breast cancer.

Plus, there is also a chance of lowering the risks associated with developing endometrial or lung cancer.

Cardiovascular

The risk of cardiovascular disease is lowered when able to keep to a schedule of moderate-intensity exercise, such as hiking. Hiking is great for the cardiovascular system with its ability to lower the triglyceride levels and increase the HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels.

A further benefit of this is the ability to cut the risks of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Diabetes

Regular aerobic exercise is effective at controlling blood sugar levels, which is needed to control or prevent the outbreak of diabetes.

Exercise is needed to help in the process of moving glucose from the blood stream to generate energy.

Energy levels

Hiking has the ability to transfer more fuel and oxygen to major body parts, including: tissues, organs, and muscles.

An increase in fuel and oxygen is appreciated for its ability to strengthen the lungs and muscles, as well as boosting the energy, alertness, and endurance.

General health

Getting out in nature and walking the trails is a good exercise to promote all-round well being.

Hiking has the ability to promote general good health and leads to a healthier lifestyle. Walking at a safe and steady pace on the hiking trails can provide a reliable form of exercise for most people.

Insomnia

Hiking is great for alleviating symptoms of insomnia and means it is possible to get the refreshing sleep after completing a long and energizing hike in the fresh air.

Mood

A relaxing hike through a forest, lake, or mountain setting is certain to help with lifting the spirits and calming the nerves.

Plus, hiking with companies is a great way to socialize and meet new people.

Vitamin D

Being out on the hiking trails makes it easier to get the proper daily dosage of vitamin D, which is necessary for strong bones and muscles.

The most efficient source of vitamin D is the sun – and 15-20 minutes per day is more than enough to maintain the optimum vitamin D level.

Weight control

Hiking helps to burn calories and kept the weight under control. Start a hiking regimen slowly (about 25-30 minutes daily) and build up to the daily time to 60 minutes.

Hiking calories burned (per hour) are approx 435 for a woman who weighs 165-lbs and 517 for a man who weighs 192-lbs.