Hiking for weight loss means combining business with pleasure, at least for hikers. In a previous article, we have discussed the health benefits of hiking in generic terms. I did not mentioned that hiking can be one of the best ways to lose weight if you don’t like physical exercises. While I do assume many people have already thought that hiking for weight loss can work, I believe that reading information that confirms such thoughts will motivate you to put these assumptions to test.
From the perspective of someone who wants to lose weight, you can think of hiking as something you can do along regular walks and jogging or instead of these activities. Of course, hiking two times a year or so does not mean you can forget about regular walks and/or jogging without being concerned about your weight or other health parameters.
How Much Weight Can You Lose by Hiking?
There are many factors to take into account when planning to lose weight based on hiking. One important factor is the terrain. Indeed, as virtually anyone would suspect, hiking on a flat ground produces more modest results compared to climbing a mountain by the steepest route-gravity matters. It’s also true that most trekkers will find a flat ground much less entertaining than places with plenty of steep routes, such as the Himalayas and San Francisco. Other relevant factors that will influence the success of a hiking-based weight loss self-made program are your current diet, age, gender and basically all the factors that matter in other circumstances.
According to an article published on Mayo Clinic, 30 minutes of walking per day can help you burn around 150 calories per day and losing a pound in one week (0.45 kg) normally means you must lose 500 calories a day. If merely walking 30 minutes each day in a fascinating or boring city/town/village/farm can help you lose 1 pound per week (again, 0.45 kg), there are reasons to be optimistic about your future weight after a few days of hiking. I suggest wearing a backpack to make things even more challenging (!)
An article published by Huffington Post provides the empirical evidence some may want to see. More specifically, the article talks about Mindy Witthoft, a 31-years old woman with a height of 5’9” (1.79 m) and who used to weigh 300 pounds (136 kg) before becoming a hiker (or-let’s not forget-a trekker). Mindy reveals that she has always been “chubby” and never concerned about her weight. However, at the end of 2011 she decided to improve her health and starting with early 2012 she engaged in workouts and cut out fast food. In the same year, Mindy discovered hiking as a new exercise option and since then she hikes almost every weekend. She feels that hiking has helped her improve her body aspect, athletic abilities, and her sleeping patterns. If you want to read a more detailed account of this story, you can access the full article here. Since I’ve said ‘empirical evidence”, it is worth mentioning that in the article you can also see photos with Mindy before and after she started to lose weight (P.S.: it might be the first time when you see a ‘before/after’ story without being asked to buy something).
Are You Ready to Combine Business with Pleasure?
Well, who wouldn’t be? Whether trekking days are your thing or you simply want to lose weight, hiking, camping & backpacking might be the key, provided that it’s more hiking and backpacking and less camping.
If you have ever tried to lose weight by hiking or succeed it, we would really like to know how your experience was and whether you have any pieces of advice for those who want the same thing.