Modern workout machines, like treadmills, offer flat and predictable workout surfaces. Although you can adjust the incline slightly, it does not offer a consistent challenge. In fact, most people fail to see expected results after months of using their treadmill. Hiking engages the entire body as it requires the use of hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, abdominals, calves, thighs and lower back, as you navigate the terrain as well as whatever obstacles you may encounter. Every log you climb over during a hike will challenge you in a treadmill never can.
Apart from facilitating calorie burning, outdoors also offers other health benefits. For instance, exposure to sunlight supplies the body with Vitamin D, which reduces the risk of cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. Spending enough time outdoors also aids in resetting circadian rhythms, which helps cure insomnia and other sleep-related conditions. It has also been shown that outdoor activities help to improve attention span.
Great Ways to Burn Even More Calories While Hiking
Hiking appeals to most people as it requires no special skills. In fact, it is easy to get started, although it does get much more intense if you’re willing to push yourself and tackle those advanced routes. However, to get maximum hiking benefits, you have to remember some simple tips. Here are some simple tweaks that I normally use to speed up weight loss during hiking. They are scientific techniques that offer great muscle-toning benefits for every workout. I used most of these techniques to jumpstart a lagging metabolism and ensure that I continue burning extra calories throughout the day.
1. Engage your hands
Bend your arms and vigorously pump them to help you move faster and burn more calories. Engaging the hands ensures that the hand’s muscles are sucking enough oxygen out of the bloodstream, which ensures that the cardiovascular system is using enough energy. Apart from building your muscles, this technique helps to maximize calorie burning.
2. Take advantage of weather changes during hiking:
Although you can safely hike year round, it is important to embrace weather changes during your hike. Scientific research has shown that you can boost your calorie burning by hiking in cold weather. Even hiking when its a windy day helps to boost calorie burning by 5%.
3. Set realistic goals and work toward achieving them.
I normally choose areas where I rest, and areas where I speed up. Use different markers such as stop signs and park benches to signal adjustments in tempo. The use of fitness trackers, such as a Fitbit, is a very important tool in evaluating your progress as it records detailed data on your physical activities for the day. Whenever I look over the improvements I’ve made, I get motivated to stick to the routine. My long-term weight loss plan is what has kept me interested in spending more time outside. Start planning your hike and set achievable goals, and you will burn more calories.
4. Hike on unpaved terrain:
Hiking trails and sandy paths require more energy compared to paved routes. While hiking I like to roll through from heel to toe, and when I get to ball on my foot, I push off as if I’m wiping off my sole. Outdoors workouts on unpaved terrain has helped me work out my calf, glute muscles, and hamstrings.
5. Walk in the right posture:
While walking, ensure that your shoulders are pulled back and relaxed, keeping your chest up and your spine in line. Ensuring that your body is well aligned ensures that your butt and back muscles can work more powerfully.
6. Use trekking poles:
Although I began hiking on a budget with just a good pair of shoes and a bottle of water to keep me hydrated, I later learned that it is necessary to get a pair of hiking poles to improve my performance. Trekking poles are essential in ensuring that energy usage is distributed throughout the body, while improving endurance, and giving my arms an extra workout.
Hiking is an effective full-body workout technique. If in the beginning, you don’t have the stamina required to run, adopt hiking to burn calories. Research has shown that hiking can burn more calories than traditional workout methods, such as jogging, or running on a treadmill. With a good trail, like hiking trails in Virginia, you will definitely achieve weight loss.