Can Hiking Help Lose Weight?
Yes, it can!
As a matter of fact, it’s been scientifically proven that hiking is one of the simplest ways of blasting those excess calories away. And so tremendous is shedding kilos is this simple exercise that many fitness junkies nowadays build their weight-loss programs around it.
According to weight loss experts, hiking is far much more effective in burning fats than any other cardio exercise. And the way a simple trek does is to force the body to use the stored fats to create the energy needed to keep moving as you cover a trail.
How hiking helps lose weight
The body will have to draw the fats stored, first when ascending and later on your descent. On both occasions, you sweat off the fats and brave the rigors this comes with without hitting the quit button. After a couple of weeks of consistent hiking, the number of excess fats will have been used significantly.
On average, an hour’s walk is enough to slash at least 150 calories. The quantity increases when climbing an incline or if the weight of the backpack is greater. Quite simply, walk more and focus on hilly trails!
Scientifically, you should shed kilos after consistently walking several miles every day. Science estimates the success rate of reducing your excess weight as being directly influenced by your weight and the steepness of your trails.
That is to say; you can successfully reduce your pounds if you optimize the two factors to the advantage of your goal. If you pick a route whose steepness gradient is over 25% and walk at a pace of between 2.9 and 3.5 mph (4.7 and 5.6 kph), you will burn more calories.
However, the two factors aren’t the only ones worth giving your attention to. A serious hiker looking up to the trails to stay fit ought to also have a backpack. And it is the extra kilos packed in the bag that adds the body more demand for energy.
Also, temperature, age, and sex profoundly impact how quickly this fitness regimen bears fruits. Hikes done in summer tend to be more effective since the ease of sweating is higher than in winter. A 30-year-old can have more energy and determination to succeed too.
How to hike and achieve your fitness goals
But much as hiking is one powerful ingredient in any weight loss plan, it has nothing special in it. It even has no specific way of carrying it out – not even a secret formula or anything. You need to put in those miles, walk for hours every day and ensure you sweat those excess fats away.
Choose to hike twice or thrice a week, pick specific trails and gather two or several of your BFFs and slog along that treacherous trail. Or do it with your dog every weekend, and you will realize just how effective it can be in your quest to slash away those extra pounds.
It gets even better if you consider it a leisure activity and not a kick-ass workout. Map out your preferred trails, set off and tick off each goal as soon as you achieve it, be it reducing a pound or two or simply feeling fine after a 5mile walk.
Hike with a strategy – a plan
But hiking is robust in weight loss, especially if you do it with a plan. Akin to killing two birds with a single stone, hiking can easily be your primary weight loss management strategy and equally a form of adventure. You get to burn away the fats and still explore the beautiful natural surroundings without spending much.
You hit the trails and marvel at the stunning landscape that you’ve never visited before while enhancing your cardiovascular performance. And the good thing about the entire exercise is the fact that it is entirely free and you can do it an unlimited number of times.
However, the key to losing kilos as a hiker is doing it right.
And that is to mix high and low-intensity hikes. On specific days, embark on brisk walks and spurts that get the heart pumping. That way, you will need more energy, which the heart will compel the body to draw from what’s stored. Low-intensity walks will ensure that the fat-burning process goes on.
Remember that if you concentrate on high-intensity hikes alone or alternatively stick to typical lazy walks around the neighborhood in the name of hikes, you might not realize any massive change.
Your heart needs to force the body to consume more fats. And you can achieve that by mixing low and high-intensity hikes.
But there’s one other strategy worth considering – killer workouts as part of your hike.
After all the walks and climbs, success will be when you check your weight and realize you’ve lost pounds. But to achieve that faster, make sure you direct all your effort to where dead fat is stored – mostly visceral or subcutaneous sections.
To do this, there are several hacks and strategies to employ on a hiking expedition. They include:
- Walking downhill slowly and uphill briskly accelerates caloric burn. It is a blend of high and low-intensity workouts as you hike.
- Mixing hikes with pushup challenges along the way. The best time to do pushups is when you are on a water break, and you feel that the core needs a little exercise. You can actually make this a challenge and ensure you do it at every stop.
- Hike with poles, especially on steep trails, as poles offer support while exerting pressure on the abdomen, especially the subcutaneous tummy fat.
- If you can run, run. Speed adds to the calorie-burning power by forcing the body to draw more fats stored to be converted to energy. And so, if you decide to include running in your hikes, do it.
- Squats and lunges are equally excellent at reducing tummy fat while conditioning the feet. Do them often and wait to see how exceptional your body fitness levels will be.
Now, you know why you should make hiking a serious weight-loss regimen
You can start it small and explore the mountain trails and tracks leading to the jungle in your state. The best ones aren’t those that every hiker has used. Or the typically easy treks that you can complete in one afternoon.
Challenge yourself by picking a path that’s safe but less trodden. Scan your state or visit your neighboring parks and reserves and make it your quest to conquer all of them. But remember to seek relevant permits and choose trails that are safe and risk-free.