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Try a New Mindset for Getting in Shape

By Tom Herrin

A lot of times when people think about working out, the gym or treadmill comes to mind.  That may bring a smile or a certain amount of dread, depending on past experience.  Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get the body into a prime operating condition.  One of the best ways to get more bang for the buck is backpacking.  There is no need to cringe because it doesn’t always have to be with a 75-pound pack.  Someone starting with only 10 pounds can reap good results and still strengthen the body.

It Can Strengthen The Heart

Everyone knows the heart is a muscle.  The more exercise it gets, the stronger it becomes.  While there is a limit on everything, backpacking on gentler terrain can provide a good amount of quality exercise that can make the heart work.  As conditioning begins to improve, the heart is able to pump more blood with less effort.  This indicates the heart is more efficient, meaning more work with less effort.  The difficulty of the hiking surface can be gradually increased.  There is no need to rush it, but progress can be seen in a relatively short period of time.

It Can Strengthen The Bones

Weight bearing exercises are well-known for their ability to improve bone density and strength.  Backpacking with progressively heavier loads can help bones to become healthier and more resistant to accidental injury.  The activities required for backpacking can involve things such as jumping, stretching, and climbing.  All of these can play a part in building stronger bones.  Even with older individuals, these activities can produce big results.  Someone 70 years old can backpack and improve bone density.  They don’t necessarily have to start with a big pack on steep inclines.

It Can Reduce Depression

Exercise has a beneficial effect regarding depression anytime.  When this can be combined with natural beauty in a backpacking area, it can be a winning combination.  Stress can be well managed when someone gets out in the open air.  The mind seems to focus on the task and the scenery.  There is little time to spend worrying about the everyday things that tend to clutter thought.  A new outlook can be gained at each outing.  Even relationships may take on a new meaning.  If you are looking for exercise and game for something a little more challenging, try a little backpacking.  It can start inexpensively and grow into whatever you want it to become.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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