Hiking is an aerobic activity that gets your heart pumping and muscles moving. It helps reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers. Hiking — which burns calories and can help you lose or maintain weight — targets and strengthens the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles for a challenging workout. Hiking allows you to explore nature, set aside everyday stresses and demands and stimulates the feel-good chemical hormones of adrenaline and endorphins to boost your mood and energy levels. Further, group hiking allows you to socialize and improve relationships with those around you.
What Muscles are Used Hiking?
Trekking up hills or mountainsides is hard work, and it engages multiple muscle groups in tandem, all while burning a serious number of calories and increasing your aerobic threshold. Here are the muscles used most strenuously:
• Lower Back
• Ankle and Knee Complex
• Inside and Outside Thigh
To burn even more calories and to engage the upper body further, consider walking with hiking poles.
Being in a natural surrounding can help you obtain a clearer, fresh perspective on any problems you may currently be dealing with or worrying about. Hiking provides you with a mental distraction — you’re exposed to a variety of flora and fauna, new sensations, smells, sounds and sights that can help you temporarily forget your problems. Even if hiking trails are not very far from civilization, they can still give you the feeling that you’re somewhat removed from the rest of the world. And as with any physical activity, hiking promotes the release of certain brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, that can help you feel better and may even reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.