The Benefits of Hiking
Well, it’s that time of year to be sad that summer is over, but at the same time be excited about getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery that comes with the change of season. If the weather is anything like Ottawa right now, you’re in luck for the next week or two. We are having better weather now that summer is over than we had the entire summer. This is the perfect time of year to do many different activities, but one stands out in my mind, and that is hiking! Yes, I know sometimes that just sounds like too much work, but it’s so much fun to get out and enjoy the weather and the changing colours in the forests. Here are some great benefits that can come from a fun hike through the forest.
Switching up Your Cardio
First and foremost, it improves your cardio-respiratory fitness which includes your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. I find hiking a fun alternative to running, which I find to be hard on my knees and shins at times. Getting out for a nice hike with your significant other or with friends beats running down a path any day for me.
Knocking off Some lbs
Hiking also helps you to lose weight. It burns a good amount of calories (exact amount depends on your body weight, age, etc.), and is a fun way to exercise. If you’re up for a challenge and want to burn a few more calories, wearing a heavy backpack can help with that. I found that putting heavier objects in a backpack and hiking with that made me noticeably more burnt out by the end of the hike, so it was definitely a fun challenge to do while you go on a hike.
Improving Your Wellness
Lastly, hiking is beneficial for your overall health. It helps to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and helps to reduce depression and promote better quality sleeps. I always feel like a million bucks after a hike, and I normally have an amazing sleep later that night.
The best part about hiking is it doesn’t require you to be in amazing shape to start hiking. Anyone can do it, and at any distance or pace. I always bring water and a little snack so that when I start to get really tired, I can stop and have a bite to eat (this also makes the hike a bit more fun when there’s food involved too). Lastly, just have fun with it, and try not to think of it as a chore or work. With good company, and a couple of snacks, it can make for a really fun day.
K | Contributor