Are you ready for some crisp air, blue skies, colorful leaves and Georgia’s best hiking season?
Hiking outdoors has plenty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature.
It’s good for you, too. Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that can:
- Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs
- Strengthen your core
- Improve balance
- Help control your weight
- Boost your mood. “Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptons of stress and anxiety
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise
Step up your Hiking Workout:
You can get more out of your hiking with these fitness-boosting strategies.
Start slow. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills or uneven terrain.
Use poles. Digging into the ground and propelling yourself forward pushes your upper body muscles to work harder and gives you a stronger cardio workout.
Head for the hills. Even a small hill will intensify your heart rate and burn extra calories. A 5% to 10% incline equals a 30% to 40% increase in calorie burn.
Bump it up. Uneven terrain can work muscles while improving balance and stability.
Weigh yourself down. Stock your day pack with extra weight. (Water’s a good option.) A 10- to 15-pound day pack will boost your calorie burn by 10% to 15% while strengthening your lower back muscles.
Get into a groove. On the days you can’t make it to the trails, power-walk on a hilly terrain while carrying various degrees of weight in a backpack — it will keep your hiking skills and fitness level on track.
Safe Hiking Tips
For a list of the top ten hiking trails in North Georgia, click here! http://goo.gl/q1Y2Jo
“Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.” – Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society
Happy Trails to You!
Emily, Dustin, and The Get Fit Now Team