Is hiking any different than walking?
Considering both involve going at a significantly slower pace than jogging, and they’re both outdoors, taking a walk around the neighborhood might seem like a good enough exercise without all the extra prep you’d need for a hike.
So is it worth it?
First off, the main difference between a hike and a walk is the type of terrain involved. Even a slightly higher terrain involves more muscles than walking. Particularly your gluteal (derriere, for the science-impaired) muscles.
Here’s what actually happens when you hike.
The bigger the muscles involved in an activity, logically, the more calories you’d need to burn. Your glutes are the largest muscles, so using them the most burns more calories.
Why won’t walking achieve the same function you say?
Have you ever noticed how taking the stairs makes you feel like you’ve had a mini workout? Even though the distance you covered from your outing is greater than the distance of the stairs you’ve taken.
That’s cause the steeper the terrain, the more muscles you need. So while a 30 min walk might burn only a hundred calories, a 30 mins hike might double that (depending on several factors like your metabolism).
Now that’s settled, what will you need to take along for your hike?
● A buddy – while taking a walk can help clear your head, going solo on a hike can be dangerous, due to the rough terrains. At the very least, inform someone else.
● Season appropriate gear – this involves hiking footwear, extra clothing/hats/jacket (cause the weatherman may be wrong),
● First aid kit,
● Extra FOOD & WATER,
● Fully charged cellphone with GPS, plus a compass (just in case),
● Pocket knife,
● Bug spray, especially if it’s summer when bugs are out in full force.
This isn’t a comprehensive list so feel free to include whatever makes you comfortable.
Bottom line, hiking when done right, can be an extremely enjoyable recreational activity, ask Froddo. Just remember to pack a well equipped bag, and you can turn it into a habit in no time.