Hiking is one of the best ways to get outdoors. It boosts your physical and mental health and keeps you in good shape.
For most individuals, exercising daily looks like a big deal regardless of the advantages.
While you can never over-emphasize the overall benefits of hiking, one could be curious to know what will happen if you hike every day.
Hiking is the perfect daily activity. Including hiking in your everyday exercise will enhance your cardiovascular system, reduce stress and anxiety, aid in weight loss, consolidate your muscles and endurance level, and boost your general well-being.
In this article, I will talk about the overall effect of daily hiking on your body.
By the end, you will understand why you should or should not add hiking to your everyday routine.
What Will Happen If I Hike Every Day?
Usually, people envision hiking as climbing mountain tops or rocky terrains and attaining peak tops.
While in reality, hiking could be just a low-intensity activity like walking over paved routes or simply trekking along the seashore.
Hiking is just another form of exercise, and it has proven to be beneficial to the general well-being of individuals in several ways.
Hiking every day is the same as carrying out any other exercising activity daily. As such, you get the everyday benefits of exercising daily when you hike every day.
Several advantages come with hiking daily or as often as you can.
Some of the benefits of hiking daily include the following.
#1. Enhances the Cardiovascular System
One of the essential benefits of hiking is its effect on the cardiovascular system.
Hiking plays a crucial role in reducing the body’s blood pressure and also helps battle other possible elements of heart disease.
You lower the risk of developing heart disease by hiking intensively for at least 30 minutes or more daily.
#2. Improves Your Mental Health
Hiking improves your mood by reducing stress and helping you relax from whatever form of activity.
These elements go a long way in ensuring you have stable mental health and a level of thinking.
#3. Weight Loss
Hiking causes a burn of calories leading to weight loss. Although, for a more effective weight loss, you must input a high intensity of the activity.
#4. Increases Your Creativity
Hiking keeps your mind off all distractions, giving room for fresh ideas.
It would help if you went hiking anytime you desire to solve a problem and feel stuck. Then, hiking boosts your creativity level like magic.
#5. Improves Endurance
Hiking enhances endurance levels by improving bone density and developing more robust muscles.
Cyclists and runners should indulge in hiking, as it serves as a cross-training activity. Overall, hiking improves runners’ endurance levels and creates room for balance in muscle growth.
#6. Increases Flexibility
Hiking daily is one of the best ways to boost your flexibility. Lack of exercise causes stiffness in your muscles, especially your lower back muscles.
Hiking aids the overall range of movement and consequently enhances the curvature of an individual.
How Much Hiking Is Too Much?
Just like the general saying goes, too much of everything is terrible. However, the level of hiking that will be in excess varies between different individuals.
It would be best to always hike according to the hiking safety guidelines to avoid the excesses that come with overworking your system.
Like other exercises, there is a limit to hiking, too, especially when you are a beginner.
The amount of hiking that is too much is beyond your limit without adequate preparation.
The best way to go is by knowing your limit and ensuring you don’t forcefully go past that limit until you have adequately prepared and mastered endurance.
For instance, if you are the type that hikes for 4 hours every day, it would be best to maintain this pace while increasing the pace the more your endurance level increases.
The distance a hiker will cover depends on their fitness level, backpack weight, and path.
For beginners, you can always hike 1 to 2 miles for a start until you improve your endurance level.
Also, while it is good to set new records as a skilled hiker, you must bear that it could be better to go above your capacity forcefully.
Hiking is undoubtedly an excellent activity with great benefits, although it has its setbacks too.
The table below contains some of the pros and cons of hiking.
|Hiking reduces the risk of arthritis.||Risk of wild animals.|
|It is an excellent way to relieve back pains.||Certain heights can cause nausea and headache.|
|Hiking hampers the aging process.||Risk of getting stuck in the mountains.|
|It is a suitable replacement for the gym.||People often overrate their abilities.|
What Happens When You Hike Too Much?
The first step towards getting the best out of a hike is adequate planning. Planning encompasses choosing a route, duration, and gear.
When you hike excessively about your supposed limit, you might end up causing harm to your body and general health.
Remember, hiking improves the cardiovascular system, thereby reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
In the same light, you will overwork your heart when you hike excessively, making it prone to a breakdown.
An excessive hike will cause physical and mental fatigue, leading to brain stress and defeating a hike’s essence.
Also, stretching your muscles is dangerous as it could lead to a muscle tear, which also defeats the purpose of a hike.
Assume you planned to hike 6 miles, pack gear for 6 miles, and go for 10 miles.
You will most likely run out of water which is dangerous when dehydration sets in and you start feeling thirsty.
It would help if you plan and hike according to your capacity for the best results.
As a precaution, you should always inform someone before hiking.
What Does Hiking Do to Your Body Shape?
Hiking affects body shape in various ways. You can reach any desired fitness level by sufficiently altering your hiking activities.
Hiking builds your upper, lower, and core muscles, invariably impacting the overall body shape of an individual. Hence, referred to as a full-body workout.
In essence, hiking cause you to lose weight and tone your body parts to your desired shape.
Hiking is an easy way to lose weight. The good thing is you can choose your intensity level while burning calories.
Unlike most exercises, hiking is a low-intensity activity that yields results like other exercises depending on your commitment.
Hiking helps tone your leg muscles depending on the route and how many times you hike. You are most likely to get the desired results when you hike daily.
Hiking helps develop your upper body. Most people hike with bag packs, an additional weight that improves upper body strength.
Also, other hikers use trekking poles while hiking. Using trekking poles to help push you up while hiking automatically builds upper muscle stamina.
Hiking also exerts some level of pressure on your abdominal muscles causing growth and strength of the muscles.
If you desire to improve your body shape through hiking, you must be willing to put in extra work and focus more on rugged terrains.
Is Hiking Once a Week Good?
It is okay to hike once weekly, provided you are consistent. However, if it is for weight loss, you should increase the number from at least 2 to 3 times a week.
What Should My Pace Be When Hiking?
The pace of a hike is most often determined by muscle strength and capability. While experts use a fast pace, it would help if beginners use a slower pace and take pauses.
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