Getting old is not for wimps, that is what my dad always says and now I agree with him. As we age, our bodies tend to deteriorate including our heart, lungs, muscles and bones. The good news is that with regular exercise, all of the declines in these body parts slow or cease and improvements frequently occur. Hiking is a great way to get regular exercise and take advantage of these improvements.
The heart is a muscle and like any other muscle, it needs exercise to stay healthy. Hiking is a great way to challenge the heart muscle safely as each person can set the pace and difficulty of the hike. Middle-aged adults get many benefits from this flexibility of setting the pace for hiking because they start to realize they cannot workout as they used to. Elevation gain and pace are easy to gauge with any hike and provide positive impacts to heart heath. Keeping the heart healthy is extremely important to overall health especially for middle-aged adults and hiking is a great way to keep it healthy.
The rest of the muscles throughout the body atrophy as we age if they are not exercised. Hiking is a great way to consistently, safely use many muscles throughout the body. Strengthening of leg muscles, hips and core is achieved through hiking by movement, balance and core engagement throughout the hike. All levels of hiking have positive impacts on overall muscle strengthening and the best part is you can control the intensity of growth by choosing the hike intensity.
Bone density is another area that middle-aged adults have to consider as they age. Beginning at the age of 30, we start to lose bone density. Hiking is a weight bearing exercise; therefore, it helps boost bone density. Another benefit of hiking is absorption of vitamin D, which also promotes calcium absorption, which is necessary for bone health. Hiking is low impact on the joints as well protecting them from unnecessary repetitive jarring. Taking care of our old bones starts with protecting them and keeping them strong when we are middle age and younger hiking is a great way to keep bones strong.
Get out and enjoy the great outdoors by taking a hike. You did not know how beneficial it is for your health did you?