Fitness · Health

The Hiking Advantage

Jonathan for web

This post is part of our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, shares the benefits of hiking once a week — even when it’s just on a hilly road.


2310969291_10a0933517_zPhoto by prodigy130 via Flickr (Creative Commons License)

While I workout in the gym regularly, at least one day a week I go for some outdoor cardio and fun. That day is my respite from being connected to technology. It lets me connect back to nature. Luckily, there are lots of relatively short and challenging hiking trails around the area where I live, so it is an easy habit for my partner and I to go hiking every weekend. Hiking is different from power walking in that it is usually done on a trail, however, I think the most distinguishing physical thing about it is going up an incline trail or road for a while and then down. The incline part of hiking is what makes it a great exercise and gives the heart and legs a powerful workout.
Hiking offers many benefits:
1. It is a very economical way to exercise. Find a park or some hilly streets and wear proper hiking shoes.*
2. It is a great cardio workout and it burns significant calories.
3. It helps your mind as well as your body as it combats anxiety and stress.
4. It helps boost bone density because it is a weight-bearing workout.
5. It tones the gluteus maximus muscles, as well as all the other leg muscles.
6. It’s fun!

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  • Deborah Robinson May 3, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Love the article on hiking! I really enjoy not only the exercise,but also communing
    with nature.

  • Cheryl Fleming April 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

    So close to Central Park I am.. I love hiking in the park.. I have many of my patients hike, and run.. And come to me after that to get a massage.. Perfect for any lactic acid that may build up! Thanks for the reminder to get out there and “just do it”.