5 Secret Side Effects Of Hiking Plus Right Now, According To Science – Eat This, Not That

Once the winter is over, it’s time to rejoice, but also to plan long weekends in the spring. What better way to spend your free time than doing something healthy in a beautifully refreshing, outdoor setting? Hiking enthusiasts already know the many pleasures you can experience from taking a brisk hike along a challenging trail or ascending a peaceful and scenic mountain. But are you aware of the secret side effects of hiking? If not, we are here to help you.

The best part about this outdoor activity is that it can be enjoyed at any age and stage of life, regardless of skill. Not to mention, there are over 400 national parks to choose from in every region of the United States, each offering its own unique challenges and beauty that can suit any getaway you’re looking for. Along with enjoying an amazing getaway, you’ll reap more proven health benefits from hiking than you ever thought possible. This fun activity won’t just give your calves, thighs, abs, and glutes a solid workout, it’ll give you so much more.

So grab your backpack, pack some healthy snacks, put on your hiking boots, and let’s go for a hike! Let’s explore more of the secret side effects of hiking, and then find out The 6 Best Exercises For Strong, Tone Arms In 2022, Trainer Says.


Hiking is a great source of cardio. The more hills you can include on your route, the better your workout will be. Each time you increase your cardio fitness routine, you help your heart work harder. Adopting a natural flow of inclines and declines will exercise your body’s core muscles while refining balance, as the varied lateral motion you’ll perform on an uneven track surface is very different from that of a treadmill, such as Dr. Aaron L. Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, explained to Harvard Health Publishing.

Related: 5 Best Health Benefits of Walking, According to Science

happy couple hiking in nature

Whether you choose to hike the Grand Canyon or opt for a small trail in your local state park, it’s been proven that simply being in the great outdoors, that is, the nature, can alleviate your stress, anxiety and depression. By hiking, you will decrease your possibility of high blood pressure (hypertension) by 4 to 10 points. As reported by the American Hiking Society, nearly 33% of adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, the “silent killer.” It is given this name because the symptoms usually go unnoticed and can lead to stroke, heart attack, and other critical health issues.

Elderly tourist couple travelers hiking in nature, walking and talking.

The next time someone tells you to “go for a hike”, honestly accept it and follow their advice! By doing so, you can actually increase your chances of living longer. Studies show that when you engage in regular physical activity, you significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic disease, including diabetes and colon cancer. A healthy and active lifestyle can also reduce your risk of death from coronary heart disease.

happy woman hiking in mountains with SO

If you’re looking to lose weight, hiking is a great choice. (LiveStrong actually calls it “one of the best” weight loss activities.) In fact, reaching the body weight considered normal to help you stave off the high blood pressure we talked about earlier, according to the American Hiking Society. Planning a weekend getaway with your best friends or family will also help you maintain healthy muscles, joints and bones.

Related: The One Kind Of Walking You’re Not Getting Enough Of, According To Science

Senior couple spring hike with walking sticks

If you are arthritis prone or suffer from arthritis, a quick and safe hike may actually help a bit and help ease any pain you may be having. When you hike, you keep the joints active while maintaining the strength of the muscles around them.

Hiking can apparently boost your bone density, slow calcium loss and strengthen your bones, Adam Rivadeneyra, MD, sports medicine specialist at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Orange, Calif., told Practical Pain Management.

Of course, you need to take the proper precautions. If you have arthritis, be sure to wear high quality shoes that provide good support. You should also consider bringing walking sticks. And choose your route wisely. Rivadeneyra noted to avoid trails with lots of large rocks and choose a well-marked path.

We guess you don’t need further convincing! A hiking adventure is an amazing plan that will be filled with benefits for your overall health, so check out a few trails and start a list of the ones you’d like to try.

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