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Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Health
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Fitness & Health
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TOPIC: Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Health

Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Health 3 years, 9 months ago #1931

Like most avid hikers, I'm chock full of reasons to hit the trail in any season. The way hiking refresh my soul -- with nary a car to be heard and very few people to be seen -- is certainly near the top of my list.

1. A Strong Heart and Lungs

Instead of grinding out the miles on a treadmill in the gym, you could be strolling in the mountains, forest, beach... you get the idea. And if you think hiking isn't challenging enough? Try keeping a brisk pace straight up the side a steep mountain, while toting a backpack full of water!

2. A Rockin' Lower Half

Hiking is a classic example of the advice trainers give to find an activity you love for its own sake. If you keep it up, you're going to start noticing some changes in your thighs and calves -- even if you're not going very far or fast at first. And if you love hiking for its own sake, it won't even be much of a strain.

3. A Skinny... Everything!

When it comes to calorie burn, hiking puts up some pretty impressive numbers -- more than 400 calories per hour, more or less, if you weigh 150 pounds.

4. Self-Confidence

If you're looking for an activity to build self-confidence or teach a child the value of proper preparation, try hiking on for size. Think about it: When you have a successful hike it's because your feet took you every step of the way; it's because you carried everything you needed on your back and all the knowledge you needed in your head.

5. Relaxation and Focus

Feeling overwhelmed by life? Maybe a little jaunt outside is all you need. Studies abound to show that time outdoors reduces stress, may ease depression, and can even boost your mental function and focus.

6. More Energy

It's no secret that working out can leave you energized, and hiking definitely counts in that department. But there's something else at work here too.
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