The Physical and Mental Benefits of Going on a Winter Hike

People often incorrectly assume that hiking is an activity reserved for summers. In reality, hiking in winter has many many unique physical and mental health benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. It Burns More Calories

A study carried out by the University at Albany in New York discovered that people whose body temperature increased by 15-23 degrees in cold temperatures burned 34% more calories than people who hiked in warmer temperatures.

The reason is simple. In cold temperatures our bodies burn more energy to maintain appropriate temperature. If you’re looking to burn calories as you hike, winter hiking is perfect!

2. You’ll Build Muscle

A study published in the American Journal of Human Biology found that women who went through a 3-4 months long outdoor training program during cold temperatures, gained more muscle mass than men. They did this while burning calories.

Generally, women have more body fat than men, which is why they can use fat cells to store fuel. When they’re partaking in physical activity, they breakdown these fat cells for fuel, which in turn helps them lose fat and build muscle mass.

3. The Fat-Burning Lasts

Spending time outdoors in cold climates encourages our bodies to produce brown fat. This kind of fat is filled with mitochondria that happen to be hungry for calories. The more time you spend in the winter, the more brown fat the body produces. A study carried out by the National Institutes of Health confirmed this hypothesis and concluded that our bodies are more likely to lose weight in colder temperatures.

4. It’s Less Crowded

The best way to reap the mental benefits of hiking is to go solo. It becomes easier to be one with nature when that’s all you’re surrounded by. During the winter, hiking trails aren’t as crowded as they are during other times of the year.

In cold temperatures there are less crowds and fewer bugs on the trail. You can head on out and feel the winter sun on your head while enjoying some quality time all by yourself.

If you’re looking for a break from the stresses of your everyday life, head out for a quiet and calm winter hike!

Whenever you leave for a hike, make sure you go with a backpack from Light Hiking Gear.

Light Hiking Gear promotes a wide selection of scientifically-designed backpacks that were made to reduce pressure on hikers’ backs and joints as they take on the most challenging trails. 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.

There’s free shipping for everyone in the US!

1 comment

  • Elaina D'Agostino
    July 29, 2023 at 06:43 AM

    Elaina D'Agostino

    Thanks for discussing brown fat and how this helps lose weight because they are hungry for calories. I guess this is why my brother likes going on winter hikes. He finds it difficult to lose weight normally. All I ask is that he gears up properly.

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