Nothing can compare with the satisfaction that we get from traveling and spending time in Nature. The wilderness, beauty of nature is the refreshing activity that anyone will enjoy. From the invigorating sights to the quiet moments of self-reflection, trekking and backpacking the outdoors provides a number of health benefits ranging from physical to mental to spiritual.
Here are our top 10 health benefits of Trekking.
1-Weight loss – Climbing, dodging around boulders and lights runs and sprints is common while on trekking tours. These physical activities eventually help shed unwanted fat and water weight. In fact, 12 weeks of trekking at a moderate level of intensity on a regular basis can lead to significant weight loss.
2- Peace of mind – Exploring and enjoying the nature can take away the negativity and stress from our mind. Trekking is one of the best ways to reduce the anxiety and boredom from a person which will result in the peace of mind.
3-Cardiovascular strength – Because backpacking/Trekking requires covering large distances, usually by walking up and down hills and mountains, the heart has to pump harder to keep up with the oxygen demand. Though trekking is not necessarily a highly intense sport, the heart rate does maintain a steady, increased rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles and the brain.
4-Cleanses the lungs – In India, for example, trekking tours are conducted to allow trekkers to inhale clean air. Most trekking tours are organized away from human population which automatically means that the flora bear little effects of human activities while the extensive growth and vegetation found in nature preserves helps ensure that the air is far cleaner than in metropolitan areas.
5-Interval training – Interval cardio involves short bursts of exertion, and trekking is an excellent example. Trekking involves walking up and down hills and possibly climbing. Walking uphill will bring your heart closer to an hiker’s target aerobic rate, while walking downhill will give your heart rate a chance to recover. Climbing can also bring your heart rate up to aerobic levels, but also can work the leg, arm, and core muscles providing the added benefit of strength training. Interval training helps the metabolism function better, burning more calories for a longer period of time than steady cardio workouts.
6-Builds strong bones – Trekking requires optimum effort from the human body, as it requires stretching, jumping, climbing and dodging at several intervals. Such small burst of exercises at regular intervals during a trek help make bones stronger. Backpackers also have the added beneficial burden of carrying supplies, such as water, first aid kids, clothes and even camping equipment such as tents (if they were camping) which would mean added weight on the shoulders and spine. If carried properly, this weight training can help add on bone density thereby achieving overall fitness.
7-Heal Chronic Back Pain – It’s a scary fact that the average American sits for 13 hours and sleeps for 8 hours a day, meaning they are active for just 3 hours. The sitting epidemic is one of the reasons why so many of us suffer with chronic back and joint pain daily.
Bad posture and muscle weakness are two of the main reasons for chronic back pain. When we walk, our spine is placed into a more naturally aligned position than when we are sitting, and the movement strengthens postural muscles that waste away in front of the computer screen.
8-Improve you Balance – Hiking on trails is an excellent way to improve your balance and mental agility. The uneven surface promotes the small stabilising muscles in your ankles to get stronger and react more quickly if you lose your balance. These stabilising muscles are vital for proprioception which is your body’s sixth sense that helps you balance or catch yourself if you trip. If we don’t train our proprioception then it naturally declines as we get older, making us more likely to suffer injuries from falls in old age.
9-Boost your Mind – Doctors are increasingly prescribing exercise such as walking to combat depression and many clinical studies have showed that exercise can improve depressive symptoms to a comparable extent to the use of anti-depressant drugs. Trekking is an excellent mood booster because it combines the physiological benefits of exercise with the mental health benefits of being surrounded by nature and socialising with other people on the trail.
More and more studies are showing a link between the amount of time that people spend in nature and their mental wellbeing. Some clinically proven benefits of spending time in nature include; reduction in stress and blood pressure and improved sleep and energy levels. In our increasingly fast paced society, reduction of stress and increased emotional well being is one of the most important health benefits of trekking!
10-Interval Training – Interval cardio involves short bursts of exertion, and trekking is an excellent example. Trekking involves walking up and down hills and possibly climbing. Walking uphill will bring your heart closer to an hiker’s target aerobic rate, while walking downhill will give your heart rate a chance to recover. Climbing can also bring your heart rate up to aerobic levels, but also can work the leg, arm, and core muscles providing the added benefit of strength training. Interval training helps the metabolism function better, burning more calories for a longer period of time than steady cardio workouts.