To rookies, hiking may not look too different from walking. People who aren’t familiar with hiking often overlook the major differences between hiking and walking. Aside from the gear, hiking itself is a completely different form of a workout than walking.
Unlike walking, hiking engages every muscle of the body. It involves covering long, off-road distances at a steady pace. The terrain and the elevation of the trail exert your body in ways that walking on the sidewalk can’t.
We know from research that hiking stimulates our muscles, joints, and heart.
Let’s take a look at how hiking is different from walking:
When we walk on leveled surfaces, our body is experiencing “passive dynamics”. Our walking stride has an effect similar to a swinging pendulum. When we continue to move back and forth, more energy is needed to keep going.
Because hiking requires you to move for long distances on off-road services, more energy is used to walk strides.
A lot more energy is transferred when you’re hiking on uneven terrain. Both your metabolic rate and heart rate will increase and you’ll burn more calories in return.
Increased Use of Energy
When you hike on uneven terrain, your body uses 28% more energy than when you walk on leveled surfaces. Hiking on uneven terrain causes you to shift between your leg muscles. Your muscles contract and expand according to the ups and downs of the ground. This constant shifting of muscles uses more energy than walking and helps burn calories.
Burning calories is only one of the many benefits of hiking; the amount of muscles hiking engages is by far its greatest benefit—especially in a time where so many of us have sedentary lifestyles.
When you’re hiking or trail running, your body will engage various muscle groups depending on the type of surface you’re moving on. Every muscle from your hips and knees down to your ankles will be engaged at some point on a hike.
Depending on the type of terrain you’re walking on, you can engage muscle groups that aren’t usually stimulated, which in turn helps improve stability and balance.
Having the right backpack is crucial whenever you go on a hike. Opt for hiking gear and backpacks from specialty stores instead of department stores.
Light Hiking Gear offers a collection of scientifically-designed backpacks that were made to reduce pressure on hikers’ backs and joints when they’re on the trail. Our backpacks offer ample space for your belongings; they’re made of moisture-wicking fabrics and help balance large loads without impacting balance.
Check out our daypacks, StrongLites, and UltraLites online and place your order today.
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