For Great Outdoors Month, Track Your Max in Webster is glad to explain how hiking strengthens your entire body.
What Are The Ways In Which Hiking Can Help Strengthen Your Body?
- Physical benefits. Hiking works-out your entire body, helps hone your balance, and improves your cardiovascular health.
- Better sleep. The workout and the exposure to sunlight can both be beneficial to getting a good night’s rest. Sleep itself is essential to recovery.
- Mental and emotional wellness. Hiking is good for your mental health, and can help stimulate your brain function and memory.
- Hiking can also help with certain chronic conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
The Physical Benefits Of Hiking
Hiking is a great way to get a workout, as it strengthens many muscles in the body, such as the arms and back. When you walk uphill, your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves get a workout, and when you walk downhill, your ankles, hips, and core get a workout. You can also use trekking poles or carry a moderate to heavy backpack while hiking to really get your muscles working.
When you go for a hike, the ground is usually uneven due to hills, dirt, mud, rocks, and tree roots. Your balance adjusts to these changes as you’re outdoors, and your core and leg muscles are working hard to provide stability. As your core muscles become stronger, your sense of balance improves. Hiking also helps to increase your proprioception, which is your brain’s ability to assess your body’s position and movements compared to its environment. With practice, your brain will become better at judging obstacles, resulting in better balance.
Hiking is a great activity for boosting your cardiovascular health. Even a light hike can get your heart rate up to a moderate level, which in turn helps to build up your endurance and aerobic fitness. As you continue to hike, your body will become accustomed to the workout and you can go for longer, faster and harder without feeling fatigued or out of breath.
Moreover, research has shown that regular and moderate hiking can have a beneficial impact on other markers related to cardiovascular health, such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Studies have shown that regular moderate hiking can help to reduce hypertension, improve glucose tolerance and reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.
Hiking Can Result In Better Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, going on a hike could be beneficial. Exposure to Vitamin D can help you maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Being outdoors and exercising can also raise your body temperature, and when it returns to normal, it can help you fall asleep. It’s important to remember that in order to improve your fitness through exercise, you need to give your body time to recover, and sleep is an essential part of this process, as it helps your body adapt to the exercise.
How Hiking Helps With Both Mental Wellness And Memory
The beauty of nature can be a great way to lift your spirits. Seeing green can help regulate your body’s parasympathetic and sympathetic activities, providing a calming effect. Furthermore, being in nature and moving around can lead to the release of endorphins, which are hormones that reduce pain and enhance pleasure. This can also raise your body’s sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine, hormones that can help relieve depression. The sight of a clear blue sky, blooming flowers, and squirrels playing in the trees are sure to bring a smile to your face and bring peace to your soul.
When going for a hike, your circulation increases, supplying oxygen and vital nutrients to your brain. Research has demonstrated that this rise in blood flow assists in strengthening the connections between neurons in the parts of the brain that are responsible for memory and cognitive function. It was even discovered that older adults who exercised in brief bursts experienced a boost in their memory when compared to those who did not.
Hiking And How It Guards Against Arthritis And Osteoporosis
For those with arthritis, especially in their knees or hips, exercising can be an uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, hiking is a great way to get your heart rate up without putting too much strain on your joints. In contrast to running, walking only puts three times the weight of your body on your joints, which means you can still get your heart rate up without the high-impact. Studies have proven that exercise can lessen pain and morning stiffness for those with arthritis.
As we age, our bones can naturally start to become weaker, making us more vulnerable to developing osteoporosis. Research suggests that after the age of 40, we lose about 1% of our bone density each year. Bone density is the amount of minerals in our bones. Keeping high bone density is vital in avoiding fractures and lowering the chances of osteoporosis. Exercises that involve weight-bearing, like hiking, can help to raise bone density and strengthen our bone tissue.
Use Personalized Data To Take Control Of Your Health
At Track Your Max, we strive to supply our clients with a transparent view into their metabolism, hormones, and biochemistry. With our help, patients are provided with empirical data on an ongoing basis to help optimize their health needs.
When patients are properly educated and informed about the workings of their body, they are able to properly coordinate with other medical and healthcare professionals to enhance their quality of life. Track Your Max of Webster, TX helps you take control of your life with metabolism tests, hormone test panels, medical weight loss programs and more. Call 832-400-9501 to get started.