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The Health Benefits of Hiking Regularly

By Alexis Mills

By going on regular hikes outdoors, you will be benefiting your mental and physical health greatly. Getting into nature, enjoying the views, and pushing your physical health is something you can do alone or with friends to connect with yourself. Hiking really does heal and strengthen the body at the same time. See some of the top health benefits of hiking regularly.

Increased Fitness 

Going on hikes is a great way to improve your cardio fitness; walk up some steep hills to get your heart beating harder. This will help in your efforts for weight loss and burn a lot of calories while increasing your altitude. It's also easier on your body to go on a hike with dirt to be easier on your joints compared to concrete. Also, with hiking you can track exactly what you want to do and be in control of your route, pace, and distance. It is all in your control compared to going to a weekly spin class with a bossy instructor.

Tones the Whole Body

Just regular walking gets you in better shape but walking up sharp inclines or going over big rocks will give you a workout throughout your whole body. Even if you don't feel it in the moment, if you pushed yourself on your hike you might be surprised at which muscles are sore in your body.

Lower Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Cholesterol 

Getting on the trails on a regular basis decreases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Hiking does give your muscles a workout, which moves the glucose in your body to your bloodstream into energy.

Natural Stress Relief

Getting outside and into nature has been shown to help reduce people's stress and help people with severe depression. There is a sense of peace when you are in the outdoors and enjoying nature because it gives you a break from the hustle and bustle from regular life. It can also inspire people to live a more active lifestyle, which is a great way to increase serotonin in the body. 

If you aren't experienced with hiking, make sure to start off with a simple hike, bring a map, and hike with a partner to start off. Also, make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes with ankle support and traction to keep you balanced. Hiking can be a great way to branch out of your gym routine and work your body while also spending time enjoying nature.

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

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