Take a Hike

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By: Samantha Bland MS, ACSM-CPT 

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

As spring starts to roll in and the weather gets warmer, reconsider your next cardio session for a hike outside. Hiking is a great work out that adds a spin on the standard fitness regimen. Hiking lowers your risk for heart disease, decreases blood glucose and blood pressure, boosts bone density, since it is weight bearing exercise, improves balance, builds strength in your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core and is great cross training exercise that works your muscles in directions they are not used to. Besides all the amazing physical benefits from hiking, studies have shown that being in nature boosts mood and can reduce stress and anxiety. Cardio can become very monotonous, but exercising outside at a local forest preserve or park can offer constant change due to the changing of seasons. Hiking difficulty can also vary greatly depending on trail length, incline, or even altitude in certain states. Hiking may be out of your comfort zone, it can be more challenging than your normal routine, but it may be your next breath of fresh air in this fast paced world.