Fitness

Hike, hike, hike!

Blog by: Sulagna Das

Walking may seem like a great way to get some cardio done, but sometimes it might just seem a little…boring. So, why not add a little twist to that and go hiking?
The beautiful nature view, the fresh air (thank you, trees!), the birds chirping away happily and the light, cool breeze. Sounds refreshing and pretty amazing, don’t you think? Not just that, there are so many benefits of hiking and it is definitely more fun than just walking.

As listed by WebMD magazine, hiking has the following great results:

  • Lowers the risk of heart diseases.
  • Boosts bone density.
  • Improves blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
  • Improves balance.
  • Strengthen your core.
  • Tones and strengthens your hamstrings, quadriceps, the muscles in your hips and lower legs.
  • Lifts your mood.
  • Maintains your body weight.

Being a hiker myself, here are a few guidelines from yours truly if you’re new to hiking:

  • If you’re new to the town or city you’re living in, make yourself a map. Familiarize yourself with the area, discover new trails that seem suitable to hike.
  • Start slow. Don’t power walk right at the beginning because that will end up consuming all your energy and you won’t be able to make it to the top.
  • Head for the hills. Living in a city like Pune has great hiking trails. There are small hills surrounding the borders of the city and the outskirts and some are perfect for hiking. It also helps you burn extra calories and make your muscles stronger.

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  • Wear proper shoes. True story, the first time I went hiking I woke a pair of flip flops. I came back with four cuts, half of my foot covered in dirt and dried blood. Not very pretty. Choose boots or sneakers, they are most suitable for hiking.
  • Use poles if you can. Digging the poles into the ground and propel yourself up. This gives a stronger cardio workout and makes your upper body muscles toned.

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  • Rehydrate yourself. Carry a bottle of water with you and halt sometimes to take a sip of water to tire yourself out immediately. This is also a good way to weigh yourself down.
  • Go for the bumpy trails. It improves your balance and stability. Sure you might fall once or twice, but then you can laugh it off later, along with the pain. Just kidding!

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  • If you think it’s not safe to roam out and about all on your own, drag someone along with you. He/She might even thank you later for introducing them to this beautiful idea.

So, there you go! Have some fun and try out some hiking. If you can make this a regular exercise routine, the results will be promising and you won’t find it very hectic among your busy schedules. An hour or so with Mother Nature and you will feel happy and content.

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