Benefits of Hiking

As summer begins approaching, hiking can be a great low-impact workout to engage in, offering numerous physical and mental benefits. Walking is one of the lowest impact sports around, but with the increased variability that hiking provides, this adds increased difficulty, hence increased health benefits to the activity. According to the American Hiking Society (2013), and Healthy Families BC (2013), a few of the benefits hiking can provide include: 

  • Increased general fitness levels – one hour of hiking can burn over 500 calories depending on level of incline and weight of your pack!
  • Reduced risk for heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels 
  • Improved control over healthy weight, and lowered body fat
  • Improved bone density and osteoarthritis outcomes
  • Reduced stress, improved mood and enhanced wellbeing 
  • Increased flexibility and coordination 

American Hiking Society (2013). Health benefits of hiking. Retrieved from http://www.americanhiking.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Heath-Benefits-of-Hiking-fact-sheet.pdf

Faktor, M. (2013). The health benefits of hiking. Retrieved from https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/blog/health-benefits-hiking