Wintertime is not very conducive to sports, especially outdoor sports such as running or cycling. However, there are sports that we can do throughout most of the year, such as hiking. Winter is admittedly not the preferred season as it is more dangerous. Most mountain areas with winter sports are suitable for hiking. If you have also sometimes wondered so can hiking replace running this article is for you?
So can hiking replace running and does it have positive health effects? Hiking is a great physical activity that engages most muscle parts. It also improves muscle strength, sense of balance, heart health and reduces the risk of some respiratory problems.
What is hiking?
Hiking is an activity of moderate difficulty which involves walking long distances, usually on trails or paths. The duration of such an expedition varies from trails of a few hours to longer ones lasting up to about a month. There are usually groups of different sizes, from several to a dozen people, and depending on the season, you need to prepare yourself accordingly.
Hiking and trekking are two terms sometimes used interchangeably. The difference between them usually lies in the duration of the specific activity. Hiking is associated with shorter programs, while trekking is used for longer routes of a week or more. So can hiking replace running depending on how often you want to hike and at what intensity?
What do you need for hiking?
Hiking has become increasingly popular in recent times, it is somewhat of a year-round sport, both in summer and winter. What equipment you need to take with you depends on the duration of the hike, what terrain you are going into and whether you are going to spend the night there. In your equipment, it is worth to have such equipment as:
- Two different pairs of shoes: a pair of decent and waterproof hiking boots and a lighter pair of shoes such as trainers or comfortable sandals that can be changed according to the conditions
- A jacket or raincoat, and a hat to protect you from strong winds
- Sunglasses to shield your eyes not only from the sun but also from the wind. They are perfect for the mountains, where conditions change very quickly
- Sunscreen to avoid sunburn
- A capacious rucksack, either hiking or mountain backpack (preferably with a capacity of around 40 liters)
- Water and provisions to replenish calories and strength on more difficult routes
- Walking poles, especially useful in difficult and uneven terrain, are great for relieving the knees and back
- Lamp or headlamp, spare batteries are also a good idea
Of course, these are only the more necessary items, when packing our backpack we must always consider that an additional item means an additional weight to carry. However, we should remember that good preparation for a hike is essential to avoid additional problems. Whether so can hiking replace running depends mainly on how seriously we take the sport and its regularity.
What does hiking give us?
As hiking means trekking in different types of terrain and regions, we can expect different types of difficulty of the trails. Hiking on uneven terrain increases the amount of energy we use by up to 28%, this is much more than on flat terrain.
Our body’s efficiency increases, all muscles work, and we burn a lot of calories. Being in nature can improve your mood and mental health, and reduce stress. Below, we have described 7 tips on how to increase stamina and enjoy hiking even more:
1) Walk a lot, even if you’re not very fit at the moment, you can always start building it up. Walking will not only have a good effect on your fitness but also on your mood.
2) Exercise indoors, or outdoors. Start with simple gymnastics at home, this can be exercised with accessories like dumbbells or resistance bands. Outdoor gyms in parks or housing estates are also a good idea.
3) Do some cardio, such as jogging or swimming. Not only will you strengthen your body, improve your condition and oxygenate all your cells.
4) Cycling, whether it’s to work, shopping, or walking. Choose a bike instead of a car, you’ll get around traffic faster and get a workout in at the same time.
5) Interval training, which is a set of exercises, of varying intensity and regularity. This can include weight training, cardio, and gymnastics.
6) Nordic walking, regardless of whether you are going to the mountains or the forest, poles are great for relieving your knees and back and will make the walk easier.
7) Go to the gym or fitness center, especially in winter, when our physical activity can be very limited by weather conditions. Even moderate activity will help you get back into shape more easily, which is very important for hiking.
These 7 tips on how to increase stamina can help you to improve your fitness and stamina, just remember that the intensity of your training should be chosen accordingly. In this article, in turn, you can read how the case for exercising muscles in hiking.
In Summary – Can Hiking Replace Running? – (7 Tips To Increase Stamina)
Hiking is a form of hiking that can successfully replace running. With regular exertion and setting out even on routes lasting several days, we can also take care of our condition. We also have 7 tips on how to increase stamina and fitness for further hikes. Whether can hiking replace running depends on how often and with what intensity you do it. The big advantage of course is that you can go hiking most of the time of year, but remember to pay attention to the equipment you need.
If you want to know more about hiking and its similarities to running you should check out our new article “Is It Ok To Walk Ahead Of Someone On A Hike? – (Am I Rude?)“.