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Benefits of Trekking

Benefits of Trekking
Image by Steven Weirather from Pixabay
Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog

Benefits of Trekking: Why it’s Important

Many of you know the benefits of exercise, but many may not commonly think of the benefits of trekking. When people think of regular forms of exercise, trekking probably doesn’t come to mind.

Trekking can be as adventurous as hiking through a mountainous wilderness area over a course of days, or making a short trek through a state park near where you live.

It will definitely take more planning than going to the gym or your favorite exercise spot, but it will be worth the effort, since it will add variety to your exercise routine.

After you’ve gone trekking, you’ll get some benefits of trekking that you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten from other forms of exercise.


 

Benefits of Trekking: How it Helps

1. Improved Socialization

One of the benefits of trekking is maintaining meaningful relationships when you go trekking with a group of people. Emotional support may be just as integral as diet and exercise in promoting healthy aging.

Meaningful relationships can help stave off depression that can result from spending a significant amount of time alone. Having a social support network to help you through the tough times will go a long way.

 

2. Improved Mood

People who hiked for 90 minutes through a natural environment reported less rumination on negative thoughts and less neural activity in the area of the brain that’s linked to mental illness than participants who hiked through an urban area.  

 

3. Better Brain Health

There are a number of things that happen in your brain with regular exercise.  Here are a few that scientists have identified:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced stress hormone levels

All of the exact mechanisms by which exercise improves brain health are not fully understood, but there are a number of impressive benefits of trekking.


Plyometrics at Power Systems

 

4. Increased Bone Density

Weight bearing exercise that involves land-based activity, in which you’re supporting your weight, should be part of your plan to prevent or treat osteoporosis.

The benefits of trekking include improved bone density. It can increase bone mass since it’s weight bearing exercise.

 

5. Better Balance

As a consequence of aging, our balance tends to deteriorate.  More specifically, this means loss of sensory ability and motor control, as well as a decline in musculoskeletal function from sarcopenia.  

This is another way trekking can help. Hiking on varied terrain will challenge and improve balance. Reducing the risk of fractures is another reason you should be concerned about balance.  People with good balance tend to see the following benefits:

  • Improved posture
  • Better athletic ability
  • Less musculoskeletal pain

 

6. Better Endurance

Participating in trekking will challenge and improve muscular endurance levels.

The relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and longevity is well established. Having a high level of CRF is associated with living longer. 

In a 23 year study published in JAMA, the participants who had the highest cardiorespiratory fitness had the lowest mortality rates from all causes.

 

7. Improved Blood Pressure

Another of the benefits of trekking is reduced blood pressure.  Blood pressure was significantly reduced in participants involved in a supervised six month walking program.

The daily walking regimen consisted of 50-70 minutes of walking for the last four months of the study. 

 

8. Weight Loss

Weight-bearing exercise such as trekking will burn more calories than non-weight bearing exercise. Having someone to walk with will make it more interesting and improve your exercise adherence.

Your pace should be brisk and be done in a natural area that’s safe, as well as being free of extreme temperatures. Be sure to stay hydrated and wear comfortable hiking shoes.


Summary

What are you waiting for? It’s time to go trekking.

Make sure you pack plenty of water and food to last the duration of the trek. 

Trekking poles are a great idea also, especially if you’re going to encounter uneven or mountainous terrain.

By participating in trekking you’ll add variety to your regimen, improving your exercise adherence and enjoying more benefits of exercise. 

 

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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Hi, I'm Kent

As a personal trainer, exercise physiologist, and bodybuilder, I’ve dedicated my life to optimal nutrition, fitness and natural remedies. And putting it all into practice. Now I’m taking my experience and knowledge to the next level by helping others through blogging.

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