Health benefits of hiking: 7 amazing changes hiking will do to your body and mind

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Hiking is my first love when it comes to outdoor activities. And that love is going to last until I’m alive. For this post, I chose to present you with the health benefits of hiking in hope that you’ll be encouraged to try it in case you haven’t already.

When you go for your first hike, you’ll probably fall in love immediately. Hiking will slowly crawl into your life and you’ll start searching for new hiking trails around you and new pieces of equipment to buy for your hiking adventures.

health benefits of hiking
Hiking is an awesome activity

It’s important to slowly enter the world of this beautiful activity and to move through it gradually. Don’t start with high peaks immediately, give yourself some time to learn all the basics of hiking. Later, you might fall in love with alpinism or other particular kinds of hiking.

But first things first, let’s find out the health benefits of hiking and how will it affect your life. Here’s the good scientific article about health benefits of hiking full of different studies.

benefits of hiking alone
Hiking on Biokovo mountain in Croatia

losing weight in a fun way

Being overweight is common in today’s world. Most of us eat fast and bad food. It’s not only our fault, sometimes we don’t have time nor energy to make ourselves a healthy meal. And let’s be honest, junk food sometimes tastes sooo good.

And slowly, day by day, we gain more and more kilos until one day we feel we need to get on the right tracks. Hiking can help you immensely in achieving that goal. It’s a perfect activity for losing weight. During hiking, you go uphill and that will burn many calories, more than any other type of walking.

Always hike in a good hiking shoes

Plus, you are burning your calories in a fun way, you are not in a gym and running while staying at the same place. You are outside in nature enjoying everything good that nature provides.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a problem with extra kilos, hiking will help you maintain your healthy weight. It’s a win-win situation either way.

hiking is a powerful cardio activity

One of the main health benefits of hiking is its impact on the health of the heart and cardiovascular system. When you hike for a few hours, your heart will start pounding faster and faster. It’s a good way to make it more powerful.

Hiking makes you happier

Also, the overall health of your cardiovascular system will improve. Some studies have shown that regular hiking can reduce hypertension and cholesterol levels in your blood. And with time, you’ll build your endurance through hiking which will allow you to hike for more time.

increasing stamina and tone muscles

Yes, hiking will increase your endurance for some time. You’ll feel it and notice how you can hike more than when you first started with it. Building your endurance will come in handy in other areas of your life too.

Beautiful landscape of Biokovo mountain in Croatia

Another good side effect of your hiking adventures is building and toning your muscles. During hiking sessions, your whole body is in motion, especially if you use hiking poles, and your body will award your efforts with more powerful muscles.

depression go away, welcome happiness

You probably immediately knew that this entry will be part of the ‘health benefits of hiking’ list. Well, it wouldn’t be part of it if it wasn’t true. Hiking will affect your mind and mood immensely. And we mean in all the good ways possible.

Hiking near the city of Ploce

If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, hiking can help your battle to be more bearable. You probably already saw these stickers that communicate messages like ‘depressed, just go hiking’. It would be cool if the things were so simple, but they are usually not.

Coffee cups are must

But with hiking you say to depression ‘I’m not giving up’ and you start with achieving your long-term hiking goals. When you are hiking, you are spending your time out in nature, and that alone boosts your happiness hormones that are happily flowing in your blood during the hiking sessions.

new friendships and new love

People. Some things are better when others are involved. Hiking too. Although hiking alone can also be a fulfilling activity which you’ll see later. If you choose to join the local hiking club, you can expect to meet a lot of people that share the same hobby – hiking.

Hiking in the Neretva valley

And meeting new people with the same interests can have a great impact on the quality of your social life. When we mentioned love in the headline of this article, we meant hiking. But it’s not excluded that you’ll find a partner to share your hiking passion and adventures with.

increasing bone density

The Health benefits of hiking include the parts of your body you don’t usually see. When it comes to the bones, it’s proven that hiking will increase your bone density. It’s quite logical in fact, you’re walking long distances with a backpack on your back which means you weigh more than usual. Bones have to adapt somehow and they adapt through increasing bone density over time.

Biokovo mountain in winter

health benefits of hiking alone

Last, but not least. We’ll discuss the benefits of hiking alone for a while. Although it’s always encouraged to share your hiking adventures with someone, there’s a whole community of people who prefer to hike alone. And if you ask us, that’s perfectly fine. Of course, you need to be extra cautious in these cases because there’s no one to help you in case of an accident.

Clear mind is one of the benefits of hiking alone

We won’t discourage you from trying hiking alone. We did it and experienced the health benefits of hiking alone. But there are some rules to follow in order to minimize the risk of any unwanted event. First of all, carry a mobile phone with you all the time. Second, let a few persons know where you are going and what route are you following. And finally, prepare for your hike. Don’t try to conquer the peaks that are out of your current limits. Be aware of your limits all the time.

Peace and quietness of hiking alone

Let’s return to the good sides of hiking alone. Most of the health benefits of hiking alone are the same as the ones already mentioned here. But when you hike alone, you have time to reflect, think about your life, or what you are seeing around you. Your hiking experience becomes more ‘sacred’ if we can call it that way. It becomes more meditative. There is no one around you to disturb the silence and you can immerse yourself fully in the embrace of the mountains.

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