Hike Your Way to Better Health

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The more we learn about the human body, the more seriously we start taking our health. If there’s anything we want, it is more quality time to spend with ourselves, our families and our friends. Investing in your own health is one of the best investments you can make. Your time is precious. Time is the scarcest and most valuable assett that you’ve got, because you’re always running out of it and you can never get some of it back. Your health is what should come first, if you consider yourself to be a 21st century person!

Decades ago, the fitness craze burst out onto the scenes. Everybody had to lift weights. You’re just not part of the cool kids club anymore, if you don’t. Do you even lift, bro? It’s a common question you’ll see thrown around forums on the web, where people gather to share weightlifting advice. But there is another cool kid on the block these days, and that’s hiking. More and more people are leaving the gym and hitting the trails instead. Why are they doing that? Because hiking gets you in better touch with nature than the gym ever could.

Speaking of which… if you’re ever going to leave the gym for the hiking trail, then you can easily use your previous gym shoes for trekking. Sure, gym shoes are not trekking shoes. But if you’re a newbie and you’re going on your very first half-afternoon hike, then your gym shoes will suffice. I got mine from a site called The Boot Bomb. I went with the Asics, since they seem to be getting the best reviews. They were pretty good, actually.

Here are 10 reasons why hiking is so good for your health.

1. Gives You Lots Of Vitamin D

If you’re living the sendentary indoor life, then you really need to take yourself outside. Your body can only produce vitamin D if you get some much needed daylight on your skin. Sure, you can get vitamin D from food and from supplements. But when push comes to shove, isn’t it better to just get it the good old fashioned way? Just 10 minutes of direct sunshine onto your skin is pretty much all you need in order to maintain your vitamin D levels. Imagine what a hike of a few hours can do for you. If no hiking trails are available close to you, then at least take a walk around the block during daytime.

2. Burns Lots Of Calories

We all know being overweight is bad for you. Hiking is going to increase the number of calories you are burning by quite a bit. If you are walking at a slow pace, say 2 miles per hour, then you are already burning 240 calories per hour. When you’re sitting still, that’s closer to 150 calories per hour. A single afternoon hike can therefore burn hundreds of extra calories more than when you had spent that day sitting still. So hiking is a really great way of turning up the furnace a little more.

3. Decreases Risk For Heart Disease

Heart disease is a major killer in today’s modern world. If you care about your cardiovascular system, then you should really have a good look at hiking. Hitting the great outdoors from time to time, is a really great way of keeping your cardiovascular system in tip top shape. Hiking has been shown to lower your triglyceride levels and increase your lipoprotein levels. This will significantly decrease your risk of getting a stroke and a heart attack, since your blood pressure will be lower.

4. Improves Your General Health

Since hiking is an activity of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, it’s an activity that’s going to be good for everyone. Hiking at your own level, and from time to time pushing your own limits a little bit, is really good for you. The fresh air and the tranquility of the great outdoors are going to do you a lot of good.

5. Prevents And Manages Diabetes

Hiking has been shown to lower your blood sugar levels. This means you can effectively use it as a way to prevent diabetes, or even manage it if you are so unfortunate to already have it. The workout that you get from a good hike, will move glucose from the bloodstream in order to be used for energy. Just because you’re going to take a hike, that doesn’t mean you can flush your diabetes medication down the toilet. Always consult your doctor before taking a hike to control diabetes.

6. Lowers Your Risk Of Cancer

If you are having regular exercise of any kind, then kudos to you. You now have a lower risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Hiking is a great way to get regular exercise, so if it’s not part of your weekly routine, then it might become high time that you made it one. It is suspected that hiking will also lower your risk of endometrial cancer and lung cancer.

7. Combats Insomnia

Have trouble sleeping? You’re not the only one. This day and age, we work all day, every day. And it seems there is never an end to our worries. If you’re dead serious about getting a good night’s rest, then hit the great outdoors and let nature fill your longs with a healthy dosis of fresh air. It’s good for you and it will make you sleep like a rock. Guaranteed.

8. Increases Your Everyday Mood

Have you ever had the feeling that modern day life is creating quite the strain on your mind. Well, you are not alone. Humans were never built for a life long of working in a cubicle prison. So sometimes, we have to carve out some time in order to get back in touch with nature. If you take a scenic hike, you can relieve a lot of stress. Forget your worries for a while and go on a group hike. Not only will you relax, but you’ll also socialize. Both of those are going to do wonders for your mental state.

9. Improves Energy Levels

All aerobic activities, and hiking is such an activity, will enrich your muscles, organs and other tissues, with extra fuel and oxygen. Your lungs and muscles will become stronger. Your energy levels, your general alertness and your endurance are all going to benefit from having a good hike.

10. Increase Density Of Your Bones

If you value your bones and want them to remain strong well into your old age, then hiking might be just the thing for you. It has been shown that hiking can combat arthritis and osteoporosis. Just a few hours of hiking on a weekly basis, can help you keep your bones flexible and strong.

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