Regular exercise or physical activity is important, especially if you want to maintain a healthy heart and steer clear of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
While there are a plethora of ways to stay fit, outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and camping remain some of the top choices for keeping healthy, whether by seasoned experts or by health newbies.
Compared to other exercise options, outdoor activities are more “fun” and enjoyable and help you reconnect with nature while burning calories. Here are more reasons why you should engage in these activities than stay at home and lazily surf the internet:
- Moving around helps improve heart health: Outdoor activities like using the mountain bike, camping and hiking are forms of exercises that allow better blood circulation and helps you develop a stronger heart, studies suggest. Aerobic exercises like them also enable you to have a more stable blood pressure—according to some studies on individuals who have had outdoor activities on a regular basis.
- Outdoor activities like mountain biking help you optimize fat loss: If you’re keen on shedding a few pounds, you should try biking as a form of physical activity. Dieting can only get you so far, but incorporating cycling into your routine will help target visceral fat (fat around the organs) and help you lose weight.
Besides its benefit for fat loss, riding the mountain bike can also help build muscle. Weight training isn’t the only way to toned, slightly bulky thighs and buttocks—biking also enables you to build muscle in your lower body.
According to Harvard Health, besides working your hamstrings, calves, and glutes, cycling also works your abdominal, shoulder and arm muscles as you ride.
- Going outdoors will make you happy: Camping, hiking, and riding the mountain bike will help you feel happier because they trigger the release of hormones called endorphins that help immensely improve your mood. Besides, as you do outdoor activities regularly, you help improve your physical appearance (lose weight, tone your muscles, etc.) which, in turn, helps you boost your self-esteem.
- Getting active helps you live longer: Outdoor activities like biking literally will make you live longer, according to one study on of Tour de France bikers. In fact, professional bikers lived longer than the average individuals and outlived the general population by 17%. Besides, constantly moving around and doing outdoor activities help keep you healthy and hence will also make you live longer.
Before resolving to do outdoor activities though, make sure you have the proper safety equipment first.
Spend on the necessities like the proper biking outfit (cycling spandex), camping or hiking gear and make sure you are 100% prepared before you embark on a camping/hiking trip or before you ride your mountain bike.
Elderly individuals or those with existing medical conditions should also get clearance from their doctors before resolving to get more outdoorsy.
Make sure you get a big OK from your doctor to hike, bike, or camp especially you have hypertension, a history of heart disease or stroke, a recent injury, osteoporosis, or other similar medical conditions.
One of the ways to get fit and healthy in the most enjoyable way possible is exploring the great outdoors.
Sweating on the pedal while you feel the cool wind brushing your face, setting up camp in a secluded site but with a picturesque view of the lake or reaching the summit after a day-long hike is priceless experiences and not something you can simply replace with lounging around and browsing the internet the whole day.