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5 Reasons Why Hiking Is a Good Workout

By Jenn Walters for FitBottomedGirls.com

I’m not your typical vacation goer. I don’t really do beaches or tropical destinations, as I need enough Aveeno 45 to cover a small army. And I’m not one to be content laying around for seven days in a row. Two or three maybe, but longer than that and I go a bit mad. So every year, we load up the car, and drive to Colorado for some wicked fun hiking and camping. A break from my usual fitness routine and one heck of a leg workout, here are five reasons to get hiking!

5 Reasons to Take a Hike
1. It burns tons of calories. Depending on how steep and how fast your pace is, hiking can easily burn more than 500 calories in an hour. And on many hikes, an hour is considered a short one. Pack water and high-density foods (we like trail mix and Clif Bars) to power you through. This isn’t the time to skimp on calories, as your body needs the fuel.

2. There’s no telling what you’ll see. In Colorado, I regularly see elk, butterflies, a snowshoe hare and even snakes (although I could do without that one). I’m not sure where you live, but in my neighborhood, those critters aren’t usually out walking around. Combine that with breathtaking scenery, and you have a win-win.

3. It’s not the gym. I don’t care how cool or trendy a health club is, nothing beats a mountain-filled landscape, a pristine lake or a meadow covered in wild flowers. Be sure to take along a buddy though, as hiking by yourself is a good way to get eaten by a bear or cougar (the big, scary kitty cat kind, not the older woman dating a man eight years her junior kind—although both are frightening for their own reasons).

4. Your fit bottom will thank you. Hiking primarily works the quads, hamstrings and gluteus maximus, but even your upper body and core get involved, making it one heck of a full-body workout.

5. You accomplish something. There’s nothing like literaly climbing a mountain to build confidence in yourself and your abilities—both physically and mentally. Once you’ve stood on top of the world, there’s nothing you can’t do.

Also, when hiking, it’s important for you to pack a small first-aid kit, plenty of water and food, and a variety of clothing options. Happy hiking trails!

Also Read

Two Fixes for When You Just Can’t Shower

The Hiking and Backpacking Gear That Got Me There

Fixing a Fit Funk

Your Anti-Itch Outdoor Survival Guide

Exercise in the Great Outdoors

 

September 14th, 2011

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