Hiking is a perfect form of exercise

Hiking is essentially walking and walking is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body. The fact is hiking helps to shed pounds, maintain mental health and prevent heart disease, all while allowing the experience of the outdoors rather than being stuck in the basement or at the gym. It’s really true – a beneficial exercise does not have to involve an endless, agonizing and boring workout.

While many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started, hiking is relatively simple. Literally, anyone can put on a pair of shoes, find a pack to carry your supplies in, and start moving into the woods or onto the walk for a little fresh air — this is called hiking. The scenery, accessibility and diverse nature of hiking trails make this heart-healthy pastime attractive for people of all ages, fitness levels and income brackets (it’s usually free). Moreover, except for a few pointers, hiking and trekking don’t really require any special expertise or advanced skills.

The American Heart Association recommends walking for 30-60 minutes three or four times per week. A person weighing 150 pounds walking a comfortable speed of 2 mph will burn 240 calories in one hour. Given the fact that two-thirds of Americans are overweight and 13 percent of children are overweight, hiking is a great opportunity to shed some pounds and bond as a family, all while contributing to the family’s overall health.

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