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4 Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Running

Being active is a core love of runners globally, but there are ways to improve your fitness other than just running. Hiking is an excellent way to improve on your running, as it requires your entire body to endure the demands of hiking.

4 Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Running

Varied terrain on hiking trails provides the perfect workout for individuals wanting to get fit or increase their fitness levels. The combined advantages of hiking are excellent for runners, as the full-body workout hiking provides is difficult to achieve with other activities.

Runners can alternate easily between running and hiking, as they will already possess a lot of the gear necessary to hike. The only necessary item needed to hike is a good pair of hiking boots! When choosing a pair of hiking shoes, opt for the best hiking boots you can afford, as you will spending hours at a time in them. Comfort and support are key! Once you have your boots, you are ready to take your training to the next level and reap the numerous rewards hiking offers a runner.

1. Good For Mind And Soul

Not only is hiking a great way to get fit or to improve on fitness, but it is also a scenic way of exercising which is beneficial for the mind and soul. Hiking happens mostly outdoors in the fresh air, which has been proven to assist with lowering blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar, increasing endorphins, and decreasing your risk of heart and bone disease.

Besides all these amazing health benefits, there is the added advantage of getting fit outdoors whilst taking in the best nature has to offer. Recent research indicates that spending time outdoors being active reduces obsessive and negative thought processes, which can assist people who suffer from anxiety and depression.  Hiking is a natural antidepressant, which some runners may benefit from.

2. Endurance And Stamina

Hiking is the perfect exercise for building endurance and stamina. Hiking tones muscles that aren’t necessarily activated on a treadmill or track during a run. The activation and toning of these muscles provide a stronger and fitter body overall for runners who need to improve on their stamina and endurance. Spending a few hours outdoors will exponentially help with building stamina, which is especially great for marathon runners who need to boost their endurance capabilities.

3. Fitness

Hiking is a challenging cardio workout which improves your fitness. The different intensity levels experienced when hiking can be compared to high-intensity interval training, which forces the body to work at different intensities instead of one maintained intensity. This sort of training burns calories for longer periods of time while boosting fitness levels. Win-win!

4. Strength

Strength when hiking comes from improving your core muscles and balance. Hiking is a demanding sport which requires you to navigate different surfaces, inclines, and descents. These all activate different muscles in your body. If you hike often, it can only assist in building core and muscle strength throughout your body.

Bone health or bone density is similarly improved with hiking. As hiking is a weight-bearing workout, your body is forced to work against gravity, which is a form of resistance training. Resistance training improves muscular strength and endurance, which is especially beneficial for long-distance runners.

Not only does the strength of your core, muscles, and bones improve with hiking, but your risk of developing osteoporosis decreases with hiking. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bones to be weak and brittle; this becomes a health risk for the elderly who can fall and hurt themselves severely. Hiking diminishes this risk exponentially, which is an added benefit for runners in the long-term.

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