We all know that regular exercise is important to our health, and has the ability to lengthen and improve our lives… and we all know that hiking is a form of exercise! However, you may not be aware of just how large a wealth of benefits hiking has to offer.
First off, hiking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and is excellent for weight control. When I hike, my heart rate remains elevated in the fat burning zone pretty much the entire time (as opposed to running, where my heart rate will reach cardio and peak levels). Hiking also burns some serious calories. In fact, hiking uphill can burn a similar amount of calories as going for a jog. For me, a ten mile (mostly flat) hike was able to burn the same amount of calories as running a half marathon. Running is able to burn calories faster, but hiking tends to be much easier on your joints.