Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Hiking outdoors has plenty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature.
Lower your risk of heart disease
Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs
Strengthen your core
Help control your weight
Head for the hills. Even a small hill will intensify your heart rate and burn extra calories. Miller says a 5% to 10% incline equals a 30% to 40% increase in calorie burn.
Bump it up. Uneven terrain can work muscles while improving balance and stability.
Weigh yourself down. Stock your day pack with extra weight. (Water’s a good option.) According to Miller, a 10- to 15-pound day pack will boost your calorie burn by 10% to 15% while strengthening your lower back muscles.
Get into a groove. On the days you can’t make it to the trails, power-walk on a hilly terrain while carrying various degrees of weight in a backpack -- it will keep your hiking skills and fitness level on track.