Going to the gym every day is a great way to keep your fitness going, but doesn’t it get boring sometimes?
That makes us a cooler exercise option – hiking. Although your exercise routine will depend on your goals (whether you want to tone muscles or get flexible), hiking outperforms the gym in several factors.
Here are 9 reasons why hiking is better than going to the gym.
1. Interval training
Interval training has proven to be one of the most effective forms of cardio exercise because it burns more calories in less time.
Put simply, interval training consists of alternating short periods of intense activity with longer periods of rest. When hiking with occasional rest breaks, it serves as interval training and improves fitness.
This type of exercise program is also beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Like any other form of cardio, this is good for your heart and helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
2. Low impact
HIIT is on everyone’s lips these days, but low-impact workouts are the icing on the cake when it comes to keeping you fit without putting any strain on your joints. This includes hips, knees and ankles.
Active seniors, whose muscles and joints shouldn’t be used, can therefore hike to stay in shape.
With HIIT, your joints should have good mobility to avoid injury. But low-impact exercises pose few risks like musculoskeletal injuries. If your feet have never been exercised before or you have conditions like arthritis, it would be great to start off with low-impact activities like hiking.
3. Vitamin D
In addition to regular exercise, your bones need vitamin D to stay healthy. Osteomalacia is a bone disease in adults mainly caused by vitamin D deficiency. It causes the bones to soften, making them prone to breakage. Children who do not get enough vitamin D can develop a similar disease called rickets.
In addition to bone health, vitamin D plays a crucial role in the performance of your immune system.
Vitamin D is commonly referred to as the sun vitamin because there is no better source for it than sunlight. Now you know why day hikes are the best.
4. Strong legs
When hiking, you move your legs in different ways, as opposed to repeating the same movement as you would on an elliptical trainer or treadmill.
This works out almost all of the muscles in your legs. Notice that it doesn’t just focus on the “big” muscles?
When hiking, you build stronger legs and your movements get better. Since body weight falls on the legs, make sure you have good standing posture as you make it strong.
Plus, strong legs are aesthetic and can take your confidence to the next level.
Good hiking pants will keep your legs comfortable throughout the trip. You can find out the best in this article.
5. Mentally calming
Over time, going to the gym can feel like you’re back in school. Monotonous!
Research shows that when we start to feel like exercising as a chore, it increases our existing stress levels and leads us to seek balance.
Unfortunately, in such cases, people consider consuming more junk food to compensate for morning exercise. Fitness is forever a dream.
Hiking falls into the spectrum of “fun activities” and calms your mind. Thanks to Mama Nature you will come back more energetic and less stressed after hiking.
6. No shortness of breath
At the beginning you can take a breather while hiking in the mountains. But after the first few hikes, you will get used to it more easily than on a treadmill.
The forest is the perfect place to breathe fresh air. It can work like a charm on your lungs and you will soon notice an improvement in their capacity.
Hiking also strengthens your core muscles. In addition to improving your posture, it also promotes lung health.
Hiking is not competitive. So, listen to your body and take breaks if necessary. Don’t overdo it in the name of exercise.
7. Good for your brain
Exercises like walking increase the production of urine urine. The fact that physical activity improves blood circulation collides with urine production to improve the overall well-being of your brain.
Abrineurin is a protein encoded by the BDNF gene and is important for cognitive functions and long-term memory. Adequate amounts of urine can help reduce depression and anxiety.
One study showed that those who walk in traffic or indoors received fewer benefits than those who walk in the woods. This means that while hiking we don’t miss any benefits of physical activity.
8. Suitable for all goals
If you are just getting started in the world of fitness, hiking can help you build your stamina and prepare you for high-intensity workouts. It’s easy and hassle free.
If you’re a fitness freak with a consistent exercise plan, your muscles need to break down the lactic acid build-up. Instead of taking a break by staying at home, you can take a forest walk. In this way, your muscles are tightened without reaching the “tear point”.
For HIIT patients, a break like this is recommended every 6 weeks for muscle regeneration.
While hiking requires good quality, it’s a one-time investment that will last for years (if used correctly). The gym membership is quite expensive and for every single day you skip you feel guilty about the money you paid.
As a hiker, you are on your own.
You could be a keen hiker saving money to visit the Appalachian Trail.
Or you just want to hike a trail in the nearby park because the budget is tight.
These two have different difficulties, but both are more beneficial than sitting in front of the television because all of the points we’ve discussed so far apply to them.
When we look at it from the other perspective, a gym can seem better than hiking. The point is to properly balance your body accordingly.
Res Marty is 26 years old and currently lives in Lucerne, Switzerland. In addition to traveling around the world, he loves hiking and camping. With his self-titled blog, he wants to make these outdoor activities easier for everyone. He firmly believes in integrity and honesty, which is shown in his reviews.