Hiking is a great way to lose weight because it requires little specialized equipment and it’s easy to get started. Most people can hike, even if it’s in short sessions at the beginning. As a bonus, you’ll get a chance to see interesting wildlife and beautiful nature scenes. Hiking different terrain also keeps you from getting bored.
Wear a backpack to increase you calorie burn. Carry things like water and maps or use anything that can add a little extra weight. You’ll want to start light and build up the amount you can carry. Even carrying lighter weights increases the amount of calories you’re burning on your hike.
Vary your hikes by using different trails and by hiking for different amounts of time. Not only does hiking in different places keep you from getting bored, but you’ll also keep your body challenged. Look for different trail conditions (sandy, rocky, dirt), as well as different obstacles–hopping over rocks, climbing steps, dodging around things. You’ll work different muscles with different terrains and obstacles.
Climb up hills. Once you’re used to hiking, seek out trails that include hills. Hills tone your backside and legs and you’ll increase your weight loss with each step. Lean forward slightly and take small steps on the way up for a better workout.
Speed up for short periods of time for an interval workout. If the terrain allows it, you can either hike faster or include short bursts of running. Start with short intervals and long recovery times and gradually even them out.
Buy a good pair of hiking boots or trail shoes. The right shoes can help prevent injuries keeping you from working out. For shorter hikes, a good pair of running shoes will do, but you’ll want hiking boots for longer ones.
Hike several times a week or alternate with other activities. While a long hike on the weekends is a good start, to lose weight, you must workout more often. Aim for at least three or four hikes a week or include other activities into your week like biking, swimming, weight lifting or kayaking.
Give yourself a healthy reward to keep you on the trail. Plan a hiking vacation in a place you’ve always wanted to visit, or choose a national park or forest to hike in. Not only do you have something to look forward to, but you’ll also continue you’re workouts while on vacation.
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