An ideal way to lose weight and burn calories, hiking is an activity which combines both fun and exercise. Whether you are trekking up a mountain, making your way through a winding trail, or walking through a forest, hiking is a much better alternative to the gym, on many levels. The gym limits you to a few mechanical activities and movements, while in hiking you are free to move and walk as you please. In addition, a gym might seem like a dull and boring place at times, while hiking will bring you into contact with the beauty of nature, which you can explore as you please. Verdant forests, and crisp mountain air make the hiking experience so enjoyable you will forget that you are actually exercising.

In addition to exercising, hiking can be a rejuvenating exercise, since it takes you away from the noise and bustle of city life, and you can breathe deeply in the peace and solitude nature has to offer, while exploring the wildlife around you.

While the fun factor is hiking is undeniable, the exercise also has a number of benefits as far as losing weight and burning calories is concerned. If you walk at 4.5 miles per hour, you can burn up to 500 calories – more than you might be able to manage at the gym in a day. If you are unable to go that fast, you can still lose a significant amount of weight – walking at 2.5 miles per hour will help your burn 250 calories.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of hiking is that it forces you to exercise and lose weight no matter what – the same is not the case at the gym, where you can just get up and leave if you feel like it. When hiking, you are pretty much forced to walk. Even if you hike only 40 miles, and do not end up completing the trail, you will need to hike back down to reach the city and civilization. If you spend an hour hiking away from where you parked your car, you will need to spend another hour hiking back to it. The health benefits of hiking are numerous, and you can take these into account when looking for a good way to shed pounds.

  • Much like every other form of exercise, hiking will significantly reduce your body’s susceptibility to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • All the adrenaline and stress that builds up in your body over the week can be released via hiking, relieving your body of any pent-up anxiety.
  • Hiking improves sleep at night – after all that strenuous activity, insomnia is impossible, and you are bound to fall into a deep sleep.
  • Hiking can help ward off osteoporosis, as it increases the density of your bones.
  • The body’s cardiorespiratory system is significantly improved by hiking, and the muscles develop more strength and endurance.