Benefits of Getting Outside for a Fitness Hike
A hike in the great outdoors comes with plenty of awesome benefits. Fresh air, spectacular views, the sounds and smells of nature, and lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease as just a few. You have many excellent reasons to tie up your hiking boots and head to the great outdoors for a great adventure. Let’s have a look at some of the biggest reasons that you’d want to take a fitness hike in the great outdoors. Vancouver BC has many scenic hikes like Foreshore Trail, Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk, Joffre Lakes, Tunnel Bluffs, and Diez Vistas. You won’t run out of places to hike too quickly. And many can be done twice or in the opposite direction without it getting boring.
Benefit #1: Improved Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels
Depending on the type of hike you choose to undertake, you can lower your blood sugar levels. As you begin to exercise, your muscles will use more glucose. This lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. For those who have diabetes, this can control it to some extent, but you should never forget to take your insulin. You don’t have to run a marathon to get results. In fact, you have to get exercise in an activity that you enjoy. A good hike doesn’t even feel like exercise most of the time.
The other thing is that a fitness hike will help you to improve your blood pressure. Health experts have found that even a simple walk can lower one’s blood pressure. Not only that but being in the great outdoors relaxes most people. They will feel in touch with the earth, and this can contribute to feelings of well-being. Researchers found that those who undertook a brisk 40-minute walk even were able to lower their blood pressure. In some cases, high blood pressure comes from someone carrying too much weight, and hiking can help individuals lose weight.
Benefit #2: Weight Loss
Compared to regular walking, hiking burns more calories than walking. It is because of how it will typically provide a greater challenge. And you will do more than if you walk around your neighborhood every day. In fact, Harvard Health found that a 185-pound person who hikes for two hours can burn as much as 1,064 calories. Do you want to experience the full benefits of weight loss with a fitness hike? You may want to target treks that will have a hillier terrain.
Some health experts believe that this activity works better to burn fat than many other cardiovascular exercises. That’s because our bodies do better when we burn fat with low intensity over a long duration. Not to mention, you don’t get the opportunity to opt out of an exercise like this. No such thing as a stop button exists on the trails. You can’t simply quit even when you want to. If you need to stop and take a break, enjoy the views. You will have to keep going, which pushes people to go farther than they would have otherwise gone. In contrast, if you watch a cardio workout on YouTube and start to sweat, you might feel tempted to stop. Hiking doesn’t provide you with that option until you get back to your car.
Having More Than Not Having Enough
When you set out to go on a fitness hike, always take more water than you need. Also, take some power foods to keep you going and energized. If you think you will need only one bottle, take two or three bottles and your snacks in your backpack to be safe. You can’t simply quit or stop at the store on the trail with this form of exercise. Also, consider the weather if it’s cold, take warm clothing, and have too many supplies and clothes than not enough.
Benefit #3: Combat Emotional and Mental Stress
An estimated 800,000 people died from suicide in 2017 alone, and that number doesn’t seem to be on the decline any time soon. So you have to take whatever measures you can to lower the effects of mental and emotional stress. It is because these can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is one of the leading health organizations globally. It says that stress causes various problems like upset stomach, headaches, fatigue, and sleeping problems. Through regular physical activity, you lower this stress.
Many people think of a hike as less of a physical exercise and more as a fun adventure which it should be. Going on a hike allows you to escape from the troubles of the world while exercising in nature. This can relax your mind, and you will feel more peaceful, and you will feel less stressed. You could even take a friend along with you, turning the activity into a more social activity.
Benefit #4: Get Clarity
We live in a world where everything moves at a fast pace, and in many cases, our society even encourages this fast pace. That doesn’t always mean that it is a good thing. You don’t get as much clarity this way. You don’t have time to stop and think about your life and the direction you want to take it. You have to slow down and bring clarity to the situation where possible.
Many people have found that when they take hikes out in nature, the process lends itself to gaining clarity on a situation. Hikes out in nature allow us to think. Research has uncovered a curious link that exists between the feet and the mind. They believe that this could be one reason many people find that they get clarity when on hikes. In fact, Greek philosophers thoroughly believed in using walks to gain clarity for thinking and writing. It will lead to a better life in general.
Henry David Thoreau, a famous American writer, even penned the line, “Methinks that when my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” One of the potential reasons that hikes give us clarity could be to exercise our body and our brain. This can only lead to positive things in the long run.
Benefit #5: Family Bonding Moments
You don’t necessarily have to hike alone. And in fact, for a lot of people, we find that they enjoy it more when they hike with other people. For example, you might take your wife and kid along for the 10-mile trek. In this way, everyone will get the benefits of the fitness hike. Especially for children, you can lower the risk of developing type two diabetes from gaining weight. In addition, good fitness will ensure that your children don’t have as much of a risk of gaining weight.
Many people look back on their hikes later to find some of their best moments in life. You want to take the time to set family memories that will last a lifetime. It is because once your child grows up, it isn’t as easy.
Benefit #6: Vitamin D
Nowadays, many people don’t get enough vitamin D because they don’t spend enough time in the great outdoors. However, one of the best sources of vitamin D comes from sunshine. So when you hike out in nature, you can rest assured that you will get plenty of vitamin D. But you may want to bring along a good natural sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays.
Why does vitamin D matter? Researchers have uncovered a possible link between low vitamin D levels and mood disorders. For that reason, you can lower the risk by getting enough vitamin D. Let’s give another example. Each year, three million cases of seasonal affective disorder happen. People feel moody, gain weight, crave carbohydrates, and lack the focus to accomplish much. This comes from seasonal affective disorder, and it usually happens in the fall and winter months when most people will be indoors. Winter in Vancouver BC ranges from -6 degrees Celsius to +6 degrees Celsius, which shows how cold it can get here. That doesn’t lend itself to people wanting to get outdoors, especially if it’s raining as it does so often here.
When you go on a fitness hike, you enjoy yourself. And you can still get the much-needed sunshine that your body needs to produce vitamin D. This will positively affect your overall health. In addition, vitamin D helps with your immune system’s ability to fight off infection.
Benefit #7: Most Beautiful Scenic Views
You don’t have to live in Vancouver BC, for long to realize that you have access to many scenic choices. You will see some of the most beautiful places here on hikes. Some of the most stunning hikes in this region include:
- Wedgemount Lake
- St. Mark’s Summit
- Eagle Bluffs
- Dog Mountain
- Quarry Rock
You don’t have any shortage of places to check out in this beautiful area. A fitness hike can help you to improve your focus. We have a constant barrage of advertising messages that all compete for our attention in the modern world. Traffic jams, cell phone messages, crowds, and loud noises can all contribute to our lack of enjoyment in life. You can take advantage of nature to recover from this state of being.
Benefit #8: Better Life Quality
Living your best life matters. People who hike have been shown to improve the quality of their lives. It improves your health. Then it will inevitably lead to a higher quality of life. Much of this doesn’t just get backed through people saying it. But you have researchers and health experts who have confirmed how this can improve the quality of your life. Journalist Florence Williams wrote a book, “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative.” She says how a fitness hike in mountainous terrain has led to some incredible health benefits. And that many people don’t even notice on the mental, emotional, and physical levels.
Being outdoors has been shown to help people with de-stressing, and some experts have even called this forest therapy. The views of nature when you hike can provoke deeper thinking of what is going on around you. And it can provide you with more clarity that improves the quality of your life.
Benefits of Getting Outside for a Fitness Hike
Many health benefits exist, and people who choose to undertake this exercise will find that the benefits go beyond the physical and mental. You will feel better in general. And after you have climbed to the top of a challenging mountain, the brain releases dopamine. It gives you a pleasurable reward for your efforts.