If you’re looking to get in shape, build some muscle, or simply find a healthier way to entertain yourself, hiking may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Not only does it provide you with the exercise you need to achieve your health goals, but it also has other benefits that can help you even after you’ve finished your hike. For example, did you know that hiking can increase your self-confidence and improve your mindset? Find out more about the benefits of hiking below!
The Benefits of Hiking for Fitness and Bodybuilding – by Maxwell L Alexander, MA, BFA, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer, Bodybuilding and Sports Nutrition Coach – Presneted by “The Secrets of Natural Bodybuilding” Book by Coach Maxwell Alexander on Amazon Kindle
It increases your metabolism
Hiking is a cardiovascular activity that works your muscles, causes your heart to beat faster, and makes you breathe harder—all of which increases your metabolism. In fact, hiking can burn about 500 calories an hour. By ramping up your metabolism, you’ll keep it elevated throughout the day so that you’re burning more calories at rest—which helps you lose weight. Plus, getting out in nature gives your brain a chance to relax; as studies have shown, time spent outdoors has been linked to lower levels of depression than time spent inside. So not only will hiking help you get fit, but it can also improve your mental health too!
Helps you get into shape
If you’re looking to get into shape or build strength, hiking is a great way to do it. You’ll burn more calories by hiking than you would walking, which is especially helpful if you can’t find time to hit up a gym. But most importantly, hiking will improve your mindset, because challenging yourself outside—where all those crazy things could happen like bugs invading your body or getting lost in a mountain—will give you confidence that you can handle things in real life. There’s no doubt that hiking helps push us out of our comfort zones while helping us learn important lessons about ourselves. Next time you need an exercise routine to keep from falling back on bad habits, remember: It doesn’t have to be boring; find something new!
Increases energy and mental focus
Did you know that pro bodybuilding coaches like myself believe that the Bodybuilding lifestyle is 90% mental attitude and just 10% exercise? Working out is going to make you tired, but hiking, in particular, increases your energy levels by elevating your heart rate and inducing the production of endorphins, which in return decrease the pain that comes with strenuous bodybuilding training. It also makes you more mentally alert and focused. The combination of being outside, walking through nature, and climbing uphill can help to improve your mood and overall attitude toward life. A short walk around your block or a hike on one of Hudson Valley’s many hiking trails can do wonders for making you feel refreshed in mind, body, and spirit—it’s one reason why hiking is so popular as a fitness activity.
Improves self-confidence and discipline
Self-confidence is one of those things that makes you more attractive to others. It takes discipline to get yourself out in nature, especially if you’re more comfortable sitting on your couch. When you start hiking, your self-confidence improves along with your health. This confidence is sure to boost your attractiveness as a person who can stay active and productive all year long. (Here are some tips to make starting an exercise routine easier.) You might even be able to instill these benefits into other areas of your life where self-confidence may have been lacking. If a half-hour hike once or twice per week isn’t enough for you, take some time off from being glued to your TV screen and try going out during daylight hours when it is light outside; at night go camping or bring along flashlights but avoid using them unless it is really dark outside!
Makes you feel proud of yourself
The best part about hikes is that they make you feel proud of yourself. But unlike other fitness activities, hiking doesn’t just improve your body’s physical appearance; it helps build a positive mindset, too. According to research from Stanford University, an active lifestyle can help rewire your brain to be more positive. When we take time out of our busy days to do things like hike—just for fun—it forces us to step back from our stressors and think about things in a different way. This improves our mood, which reduces anxiety in all areas of life, including work and home life. If you want to start feeling happier as soon as possible (who wouldn’t?), try taking a hike today!
It can reduce anxiety, stress, depression, anger, tiredness etc.
Many people think that hiking is only good for physical health, but it’s also beneficial to our mental health. People hike to reduce anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and tiredness. Moreover, hiking can improve your body image. If you are overweight or obese, going on a hike can help boost your self-esteem. In addition to that hiking helps you keep away from alcohol and cigarettes because these substances impair performance when participating in an intense physical activity like hiking.
Helps manage symptoms of anxiety disorders like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder), Depression etc.
As a natural anti-depressant, hiking boosts serotonin levels in our brains, which can greatly help us to manage depression. It’s also widely reported that being in nature is linked to helping with anxiety disorders. That alone would be enough reason to go hiking regularly—but it doesn’t stop there! Those with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) often find relief from their symptoms when taking up recreational activities like hiking. Studies have shown a connection between physical activity and reducing symptoms of PTSD, including flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors. In order to avoid triggers or panic attacks while hiking, always tells someone where you’re going and leave an itinerary before you head out on a trail. Also, make sure you bring your phone, so if something does happen (i.e., if you get lost), then search and rescue teams can locate you quickly.
Not only does it help with physical health but also mental health.
Aside from giving you a chance to enjoy some beautiful vistas, hiking has incredible benefits that can benefit both your physical and mental health. In fact, many fitness experts consider hiking to be just as good as—if not better than—running or swimming if it comes to losing weight. There are also plenty of walking trails in major cities that even let you enjoy city parks while getting a great workout!
Hudson Valley hiking trails
The Hudson Valley is home to some amazing hiking trails that are perfect for any fitness level. There are many fitness enthusiasts in New York who love to hike through trails like Bear Mountain State Park or Harriman State Park. If you’re trying to focus on your bodybuilding skills, these hikes are a good way to get out in nature while also building your muscles. Most hiking paths require little-to-no equipment, so you can pack light. Sturdy shoes are recommended, as well as layers—in order to stay warm in case it gets cold!
If you are looking for more info on how to get into bodybuilding, consider my new book “The Secrets of Natural Bodybuilding” Book by Coach Maxwell Alexander on Amazon Kindle