Travel & Places Outdoors

Hiking To Lose Weight

Hiking is a great way to lose weight. It requires little specialised kit and there are suitable routes for all levels and abilities, not only that, it allows you to get outside, get fresh air and see lots of interesting wildlife and beautiful nature scenes, so you really can forget about the fact that you're burning off that Sunday roast.

If you're a beginner, all you really need is a suitable pair of walking boots or hiking shoes (Hi-Tec do a great range) and you're set to go. However, if you do want to invest in some outdoor clothing for regular hikes, you can do so with very little expense.

You can start off with a short walk and work your way up to more challenging and longer hikes. I've outlined some things you may want to consider to help you burn more calories when walking or hiking:

Wear a backpack to increase you calorie burn.

Carry things like water and maps - they'll come in useful on your hike anyway. You'll want to start light and build up the amount you can carry. Even carrying lighter weights increases the amount of calories you're burning on your hike. Regatta do some great backpacks in various different sizes, so you should find something to suit you.

Vary your hikes

Varying your exercise helps to keep your body challenged. Try different trails and hiking for different amounts of time. Try to aim for different conditions, i.e. walking on sand, rock and dirt as well as incorporating some obstacles - hopping over rocks, climbing steps, dodging around things. As well as working different muscles, this will also keep you from getting board.

Climb up hills

Once you're used to hiking, seek out trails that include hills. Hills tone your backside and legs and you'll increase your weight loss with each step. Lean forward slightly and take small steps on the way up for a better workout.

Interval Training

Speed up for short periods of time for an interval workout. Try increasing your pace for 5 minutes at a time, followed by 5 minutes at normal pace or if you're feeling particularly energetic you can try short bursts of jogging or running. Each time you go try to add another 5 minutes at a faster pace to your hike.

No Excuses

Buy a good pair of hiking boots or trail shoes. The right shoes can help prevent injuries keeping you from working out. For shorter hikes, a good pair of running shoes will do, but you'll want hiking boots for longer ones. In the current freezing conditions of the UK, you might also be wise getting yourself some suitable outdoor clothing such as a good base layer and a good outdoor jacket - Regatta and Craghoppers both do some great coats which are relatively inexpensive and Helly Hansen do a great range of base layers.

Keep it regular

Hike several times a week or alternate with other activities. While a long hike on the weekends is a good start, to lose weight, you must workout more often. Aim for at least three hikes a week or include other activities into your week like biking, swimming, weight lifting or kayaking. It's easier than you think to fit it into your weekly routine.

Make a holiday of it

Give yourself a healthy reward to keep you on the trail. Plan a hiking vacation in a place you've always wanted to visit, or choose a national park or forest to hike in. Not only do you have something to look forward to, but you'll also continue you're workouts while on vacation and meet lots of like minded people.

So why not go for it, like I said, you can start off small if you're a beginner, and before you know it, it'll be such a part of your life that you'll be incorporating it into holidays and other social activities.


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