Hiking outdoors has so many perks; fresh air, smells and sounds of wildflowers and wildlife, but it is also a powerful cardio workout, and hiking can do so much for your body and you maybe didn’t even realise it!

Hiking is good for your heart, because it lowers your risk of heart disease and improves your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Since walking is a weight bearing exercise, it also helps increase bone density, builds strength in your main muscle groups, and helps create mobility in your hips and knees.

If balance is your concern, well fear not! Hiking is known to improve your balance, because you will constantly be firing your stabiliser muscles along with your core muscles, meaning improved balance. We knew those uneven gravel trails were good from more than just nice photos!

Research also shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating symptoms of stress and anxiety (Which we all know very well by this stage!). “Being in nature is engrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.” Gregory A Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society.

If you want to feel these amazing benefits of hiking, but are a newbie to hiking, we recommend starting where you can, and looking onwards and upwards! A short local hike is best for those just starting, and you can gradually work up to trails with uneven terrain or long distances.

If you have concerns about your starting balance, or injuries to your knees or ankles (or you want to protect old injuries) then invest in an intro pair of hiking poles.

Your heart will love you for getting out onto the trails, and what better way than with a community like The Hike Collective!