Workout Wednesday: Liking hiking for your health


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If cities are concrete jungles where dreams are made, the outdoors are sanctuaries where busy thinkers can recharge from the hurried pace of the workweek.  Take a hike away from the confines of your couch or office chair and hike your way to a higher standard of living instead.  Fitting in a brisk hike during your lunch break or taking a trek over the weekend will reward you in spades.

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According to the American Heart Association, a person weighing 150 lbs can burn around 240 calories per hour when hiking at a comfortable pace. However, the exact amount of energy a person exerts when they hit the trails depends on several variables—including environmental factors such as weather conditions and the incline of your hike. 

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Like any form of exercise, hiking will improve your heart health and muscular fitness but comes with an added bonus of relieving stress and tension built-up from the week.  What’s more, the Wilderness Society reports that time spent outdoors has been shown to restore a person’s attention span, problem solving, and multi-tasking ability. These brain functions perform less well when a person is, for the most part, computer-bound and sedentary—a fancy term for one who spends most of their time sitting.

New to hiking? Be cautious and drink plenty of fluids. Make sure your feet are laced up with trail shoes or boots that have tons of support.  Bring a decent pair of thick socks—the soles of your feet will thank us later. Versatile vestments are also key (think those tear-away pants from the 90’s).  Nerd Fitness has a great guide that walks beginners through what to pack and wear for their first hike.

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Finally, go out and explore! The PumpUp community’s hiking pictures inspire wanderlust in all of us. Enjoy the photos (credit: fitlisa, sawyerwarzybuck, bock, marykate88) and have a happy hike! Be sure to post your best hiking photos and tag them with #WorkoutWednesday on PumpUp!