“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Hippocrates
Did you know that hiking might be one of the best activities you can do, especially during these challenging times of COVID-19?
Hiking is great because it benefits both your body and mind.
It is a fantastic exercise in the fresh, clean air up in the mountains.
Hiking tones your whole body and helps you build muscle. It strengthens your legs, butt and core muscles, but to a certain extent also your upper body, especially your back.
Climbing up the hill is a highly effective cardio workout - it makes your heart, lungs and blood vessels stronger. You breathe in clean air, which is a priceless gift that benefits your whole body.
Hiking helps weight loss, improves balance and it is also beneficial for your joints.
During hiking you will breathe a lot, but as you become more trained it will get easier. My recommendation is that you stick to nose breathing only. Don’t breathe through your mouth, not even when you go uphill. This way, your energy will last much longer.
Breathing is much easier during hiking if you follow a ketogenic diet. You will also sweat much less if you are in ketosis and your indurance will be much better as well. You will rely on ketones for energy, so you will not need to snack all the time for extra fuel. With a healthy, nutritious, high-fat PKD* (Paleolithic-Ketogenic Diet) breakfast you can easily hike for many hours without the need to carry any food with you. If the weather is warm, you will need some water, but much less than if you were in a sugar-burning mode.
Being in nature reduces stress and anxiety, and hiking is one of the best ways to spend time in nature. It is a great way to clear your head; you can free yourself of everyday challenges. Hiking helps you to be in the moment, stay present and not think about problems.
It’s relatively cheap, especially if you live close to the mountains - you need to invest in good shoes though.
You can do it on your own, with your partner, kids, friends but your dog can be a great partner too.
To summarise, we can say that hiking is a great exercise if you want to build muscle, improve your cardiovascular fitness, endurance and also your balance. It will improve your blood sugar control, help you sleep better at night and reduce the likelihood of falls as you age age.
You can hike in almost any weather, you just need to dress accordingly. Just remember to use snow shoes when there is too much snow.