Hiking for weight loss

01 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Hiking for weight loss Hiking is an excellent way to stay physically active while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature

The ManicaPost


HIKING in itself will help you lose weight, you can burn up to 250 calories per hour if you walk at a pace of 2.5km an hour.


You can further accentuate this by leveraging the slopes and inclines on your trails.


Try hiking uphill as fast as you can.

Hiking is an excellent way to stay physically active while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

Many people take to trails or paths for a few hours, though longer excursions can last days or weeks.


The intensity varies based on the ruggedness of the terrain, as well as other factors like temperature and weather.

Hiking vs walking and running:

Walking and running are other common forms of outdoor exercise that many people use to stay fit and burn calories.

Calories burned walking:

While some walking terrain may be hilly, it’s generally flat.

Thus, you are likely to burn fewer calories when walking — even at a brisk pace — than when hiking.


Nonetheless, other factors like terrain, temperature, and your weight, age, and sex also matter.

Calories burned running:

Like walking, running tends to occur on mostly flat terrain.


The calories you burn depends on your weight and running speed, among other factors.

According to data from a fitness app, the average global running speed is about 9.7 kph for women and 11.3 kph for men.

Benefits of hiking:

Hiking has been shown to offer several health benefits.

Weight loss:

Depending on the duration and trail grade, hiking may burn a significant number of calories.


As such, it can aid weight loss when paired with a healthy diet.

Of course, factors like the weather, the amount of free time you have, and your proximity to trails may limit how often you can hike so this activity may not be a sustainable weight loss solution for many people.

All the same, setting the incline of a treadmill to five percent or higher may approximate a rigorous hike.


You can also try walking steep sidewalks or hills.

How to get better at hiking before you hit the trail:

Hiking can be surprisingly challenging, especially for those not used to the physical exertion.


Add in the extreme heat this summer, and inexperienced hikers may find themselves sore and out of breath more quickly than anticipated.

An exhausted hiker may be at risk for dehydration, slipping, or falling and the last thing you want is to get stranded on the mountain and not be able to climb back down.

Even if you are only planning on easy or moderately difficult hikes, or going hiking when it’s cooler, you can still benefit from training for hiking.


You will move better up and down the mountain, plus your muscles will feel less exhausted afterwards.

Other benefits:

Trail hiking may offer additional benefits that you can’t experience from walking on a treadmill.

One study found that outdoor mountain hiking led to greater improvements in mood, feelings of calmness, and anxiety than indoor treadmill walking.

Other reviews show similar results, suggesting that exercising outdoors in natural settings may lead to greater improvements in mental health than indoor physical activity.

In either case, hiking or walking at an incline may likewise help build lower body strength, which is particularly important for maintaining mobility and avoiding injuries as you age.

Be smart about hiking for weight loss:

Here’s a safe and sane approach to hiking for fat loss, which you can tailor to your specific hiking goals.

Physically . . .

Choose hiking trails that will challenge, but not defeat, you.


Work up to double digit mileage and throw in some elevation gain.

Reward your ambitions as a hiker by choosing great destinations.


If you can get up to a high point for panoramic views, do it!

You’ll soon be hooked on this hiking thing for reasons other than burning calories or weight loss goals.

Wear high performance active wear designed for hikers.

Go into training for trail time by changing some habits as you condition your body.

Try these simple strategies in your everyday life:

Avoid elevators and escalators.

Park as far away from the front door as possible.

Use a standing desk for computer work.

Take stretch breaks from sitting every hour.

Make a short but vigorous daily walk part of yourself care routine.

Wear a hiking pedometer that can also track your weight loss goals or an activity tracker.

Set a daily step goal and gradually increase it until you are at your weight goal.

Mentally . . . 

Celebrate your successes with hitting your activity goals.

Re-frame the way you see food.

It’s fuel for your body, it’s energy for your muscle contractions, it’s a necessary part of being healthy as an outdoor athlete.

Don’t harass yourself for hunger and thirst sensations.

Eat and drink adequate amounts with an attitude of gratitude for your hard working body.
Avoid using food as a reward.

Save your favourite chocolate for a trail snack, rather than “at home” food.

Slowly savour the taste of nutrient dense, delicious and healthy trail food and think of how your body is using it to bring you to beautiful places.

Keep a hiking diary/log/journal of where you have been, what you have seen, and how it feels to be striding down a hiking trail with the weight of your pack on your back.

Emphasise your experiences, not your weight loss, as your hiking kilometres pile up.

Realise that hiking is a self-perpetuating cycle of hard work, joy and reward.


Over and over again, those who start hiking improve other areas of life, not just how much the scale says or the jeans fit. — Online.


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