Hiking can help burn more calories than walking

(CNN) – Walking is the most popular aerobic physical activity in the United States, with 111 million people doing it in 2018 as part of their fitness goals.
Additionally, walking’s sister activity, hiking, attracted 57.8 million Americans to hit the trails in 2020, a number that has risen sharply since 2014.

Both do what is necessary to make you move outdoors and are a low-risk activity in the pandemic. But are these two forms of exercise really that different from each other? And if so, which one is better?

Walking is generally an exercise performed outdoors in an urban or suburban setting, or inside a gym on a track or treadmill. Hiking, on the other hand, is an activity that takes place outdoors and through natural terrain. When hiking there are usually changes in altitude, but not necessarily when walking.

Both of these activities are low-impact cardiovascular exercises that can help you control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They’re also great for the heart, according to cardiologist Dr. Fahmi Farah, founder and medical director of Bentley Heart Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. “Walking is one of the best workouts for heart health for all ages, including those with heart problems and conditions,” he said. “Hiking is also healthy for the heart and provides a greater calorie burn in less time.” According to Farah, neither form of exercise is better than the other.

“Both are great for improving heart and lung performance, and both hiking and walking can help you lose weight,” says Darryl Higgins, fitness expert and founder of Athlete Desk, a company that tests and reviews products like treadmills. running and bicycles.

Which exercise is best for you depends on your fitness goals and personal preferences. Here are four main considerations to help you decide whether to go for a walk or walk.

Important note: Before starting any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you feel pain.

Do you want to burn the most calories? Go hiking

The number of calories you can burn on a hike versus a walk depends primarily on your weight, the grade of the trail, and the weight on your back. Other factors are the weather, your age and gender, and the ruggedness of the terrain.

While you can burn about 100 calories per mile you walk, you can easily double that number when hiking. And if you put a heavy backpack on your back and face rugged, rugged terrain, that number can rise to more than 500 calories per hour.

Don’t have time to drive to a trail? Then go on an urban excursion, where you pack a backpack and hike through a hilly neighborhood. If you use trekking poles and move at a rapid pace, the movement of your arms adds intensity to your aerobic workout, helping to increase calorie burn, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Do you want the least expensive option? Go out to walk

Walking is free. You just have to put on comfortable loose-fitting clothes and comfortable shoes, and go outside. There really isn’t much else to do, but watch the video for some expert advice on proper form. Hiking can be as cheap as walking if you have easy access to a trail and are only going for a short walk. But that is not the usual case.

These are the best national parks in the world 0:51

Hiking often requires driving to a trail, which can be several hours away and may have an access fee. And while you can go hiking in the same clothes that you wear for hiking, it is best to wear clothes made specifically for hiking, such as mountain shoes, mountain pants, and breathable layers. You will also need at least one special equipment, such as a backpack, trekking poles, and a bottle of water. And if you’re backpacking, be prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars for extra gear like a tent, sleeping bag, and stove.

Do you want the safest activity? Go for a walk

Although hiking is not a dangerous activity in itself, it does carry risks. “Hiking can be strenuous,” Higgins says. “It may not be ideal for beginners who are unfamiliar with uneven terrain.”

If you trip and fall on a rocky, root-strewn path, you could end up with a sprained ankle or a broken bone. Additionally, there are various insects and critters in the forest, ranging from pesky mosquitoes to snakes, bears, or cougars, which can be life-threatening. Mobile phone service does not work regularly frequently or is non-existent on the roads, so if you run into problems, it can be difficult to ask for help.

Instead, walking is much safer. Of course, you can sprain an ankle when stepping off a sidewalk. But if it happens to you, help is near. What if the weather turns ugly? You can call a friend to take you or order a taxi. Perhaps the biggest concern is walking at dusk. If this is your favorite moment, be sure to wear reflective clothing and be aware of your surroundings. And don’t go out alone in the wee hours of the morning.

What you want is to de-stress? Go on an excursion

Both walks and hiking help reduce stress and anxiety, as do most forms of physical activity. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, exercise is also great for improving alertness and concentration, reducing fatigue, and boosting general cognitive function. But hiking brings additional benefits because it is done in nature.

Numerous studies conducted over the years have linked the practice of outdoor activities with mental well-being. According to a 2020 Cornell University study, just 10 minutes in a natural environment increases happiness and reduces physical and mental stress. And a 2018 study published in the Archives of Psychiatric Nursing showed that when people went out into nature they calmed down, in addition to developing a sense of community, shared purpose and belonging.

If you can’t go hiking, but you could use a big dose of calm, walking outside in the city or in a local park is still better than doing it in the gym. But if you can walk in the woods, do it.

– Melanie Radzicki McManus is a freelance writer specializing in hiking, travel, and fitness.

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Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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