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Walking vs Hiking

Benefits for walking and hiking:

A lot of people have tried to keep their day active by walking and hiking during this pandemic. Which one is better, walking or hiking?

Let’s break it down in a couple of perspectives:

Calorie expenditure:

Which one will burn more calories?

It will definitely be hiking! Example: a 180 pound person burns about 250-280 calories per hour by moderate walking. However, this person will burn about 500-530 calories per hour by hiking. This calculation is only an estimate based on the individuals weight and the amount of time the activity was performed. There will be more factors we need to input, however, this number gives us a good ground to learn that hiking does burn a lot more calories.

But why does hiking burn more calories?

Basically, hiking trails are a lot more unpredictable which causes our muscles to work harder overall. Pebbles on the ground make our core muscles engage when walking. A little hopping side by side to avoid a big rock on the trail causes our entire body to work harder. An uphill and downhill path changes how we use our body which leads to more calorie expenditure on the hike.

Balance Improvement:

So who’s the winner to improve our balance?

Again hiking is the winner.

But why?

Well, as I mentioned before, hiking trails have a lot of uneven terrain which constantly makes our body engage and contract to provide stability. Hiking also helps us increase our proprioception and body awareness to the surroundings.

There are many hiking and walking trails in Southern California. Find some nice ones near you! A walk by the beach or even in the sand will burn extra calories. If you do not have time to drive to the beach or find a trail, walking locally in your neighborhood is the next best thing!

  • Lower your risk of heart disease

  • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels

  • Weight Control

  • Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise

  • Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs

  • Strengthen your core

  • Improve balance

  • Mood elevator! Remember, Nature always brings us back!

  • If you speed walk you can also get a good cardiovascular workout!

Whichever one you choose, just keep müving no matter what!

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