Hiking Off the Pounds

Some people are repelled by the idea of working out inside a gym. A gym can be intimidating because there are stronger, thinner people working out everywhere and you are surrounded by mirrors. Though the gym may pretend to be a judgment free zone, it can be hard not to judge oneself when surrounded by other svelte and muscular bodies. The gym can also be a stuffy environment devoid of fresh air and sunshine. One of the better ways to lose weight while avoiding the gym is to take your workout outdoors.

Mix Up Your Workout with a Hike
Hiking is a great way to exercise and lose weight because it is fun and refreshing. Oxygen is necessary when working out and there is no lack of fresh oxygen on a hiking trail. It feels much nicer to breathe in the fresh air while hiking rather than to breathe in the stuffy air of the gym while walking on a treadmill.
Another advantage of hiking trails is that natural trails vary in their incline and they can include some very steep sections. When a trail has a steep incline it can work the leg muscles in a very different way than they would be worked at the gym. There is a lot of opportunity to work those major muscle groups as well as the minor muscle groups that could only be worked by walking on an irregular surface like a hiking trail. A hiker can develop much stronger and leaner muscles than by walking on a flat and regular surface like a treadmill or asphalt. It requires a lot of balance to climb up these steep trails which requires using muscles in different parts of the body as well and strengthening your core.

A Full Mind and Body Workout
Some people avoid workouts because they can seem repetitive and boring. Hiking up new trails every time you workout makes working out an adventure. There is always a different route to take and the landscape can change from day to day. When hiking up natural trails you are surrounded by beautiful and fresh nature. Nature is a calming and serene environment so hiking can also be a very grounding experience that has the added benefit of helping one lose weight at the same time. Hiking also exercises your mind, in order not to step on rocks and branches it requires a hikers full attention. This keeps the mind aware and sharp as well as increasing the physical strength in the body.

Suzanne Somers

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