If I think about going on a vacation, the first option that comes to my mind is Trekking. Trekking/ hiking is my absolute favourite. Every time I return from a trek, I feel completely refreshed and motivated. Trekking has so many health benefits that after reading this list you will be looking to book a trek as well!
Here are 17 amazing benefits of trekking/ hiking:
Physical benefits of trekking
Trekking in the mountains can do wonders for your physical health. It is easily the best low impact, endurance training there is. Besides the views you get to see are so breathtaking that you would not mind walking for hours.
(1) Helps Increase Metabolism
Trekking for long distances or hiking up a mountain helps in boosting your metabolism. By strengthing your leg muscles and aiding in improving the muscle mass, it impacts your long term metabolism as well.
(2) A fun way to burn calories and reduce weight
This is a no brainer. Trekking is an amazing way to burn some serious calories and reduce that few extra pounds you are carrying around. You can include weekend trekking activity to your weight-loss regimen. Or you can go for 10 days long trek to see a quick drop in your weight.
(3) Strengthens your heart
Taking a long walk a few days in a week can increase your cardiovascular health greatly. Imagine what a long walk up a hill and close to nature can do for you! The elevation adds the intensity that is needed to strengthen your heart. Added benefits are the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
(4) Strengthens your bones and muscles
Our bones need exercise to remain and grow stronger. Weight-training is particularly beneficial for increasing muscle mass and to strengthen the bones. Trekking with a rucksack will do this for you.
(5) Increases lung capacity
Trekking is breathtaking both in figurative and literal ways. When you walk for long distances and gain elevation, you are going to breathe take more oxygen in. Taking deeper breaths during the trek is going to improve your lung capacity. Also, the pure air you get in those lush mountains will help to flush all the toxins out of your body.
(6) Improves balance
This is a unique benefit of trekking. Hiking in an uneven terrain helps in improving the balance by training muscles in your ankle and your brain. It improves your instinct to catch yourself before you trip and fall. This will help reduce the chances of getting injured by falling in older age.
(7) Heal chronic back pain
Our generation faces chronic back pain and joint pain for two prime reasons: long hours of sitting and bad posture. The spine is better suiting for walking. Hiking not only strengthens the spine, but it also aids in better posture.
Thinking of going for a trek? Click here to read about a great trek for beginners.
Mental benefits of trekking
If the physical benefits are not enough to get you packing, these mental benefits of trekking will do it. Personally, these benefits of trekking had a great impact on my life.
(8) Aids decision making
When you are trekking in the wilderness, you are detached from your everyday life and its pressures. This allows you to see beyond small issues and look at the bigger picture. The decisions you make with this clarity will always be much better. I have made some big life decisions during my treks and they have been the best!
(9) Mood booster
Spending more time close to nature is scientifically proven to improve the overall mood of a person. Hiking in nature puts you in an ecstatic mood. It is hard to explain in words how it feels to be in the mountain, in the middle of nowhere.
(10) Enhances focus and productivity
Relaxing and rejuvenating periodically helps in increasing your productivity in the long run. While being out in the wild is revitalising, it takes concentration to traverse those trails. This will enhance your focus.
(11) Stress buster
Trekking helps you beat stress by allowing you to disconnect from everyday problems and reconnect with yourself. The natural surrounding boosts your mood, while the physical exertion releases those happy hormones that your stress is holding back.
(12) The motivation for improving yourself
If not for trekking, I would not be a health-conscious person today. Trekking will make you want to be the better version of you. It is a both physically and mentally demanding activity that is enjoyable as well. This will make you want to get fitter so that you can go for harder treks.
(13) Builds confidence and perseverance
Walking 15 km a day for 8 days in freezing temperatures may feel like an impossible task. But when you actually take up the trek and make it, you will get the confidence that you can achieve anything. Trekking also teaches you that ‘one more step’ is all that it takes to keep going. Just one more!
This is the lesson I learnt in the Chadar trek. Click here to read about my experience.
(14) Gives you a sense of achievement
The feeling of accomplishment is a serious motivator to make push further and beyond your limits. Completing a trail or climbing a peak will give you that feeling. Couple the thirst for more with the confidence it gives, and you will feel invincible.
(15) Grow your softer skills
Trekking/ Hiking helps to develop your soft skills like teamwork, problem-solving skills, adaptability, leadership and much more. It takes a lot of planning, training, setting goals and persevering to get through a trek successfully. All these skills will help your personal and professional life.
(16) Make new friends
Trekking is a great opportunity to meet new people from different places. A few days together on the trail without any disturbance from the networks can create bonds that you will cherish forever.
(17) Appreciation for what you have
We tend to take all the facilities we have for granted. A couple of days in the wild without these and watching the life of mountain people will make you appreciate things in your life for which you never spared a thought before.
If you are someone looking to reinvent yourself or to start over in life, I would highly recommend trekking for you. Go on a trek at least once to experience these amazing benefits of trekking. You will not regret it!
Do you think I missed out on any benefit? Or have you experienced these when you went on a trek? Do share it in the comments below! I am eager to learn about it.