Take a Hike! Your Heart Will Thank You

When you hear the term “hike,” do you imagine huffing it up a steep mountain or scrambling over rocky surfaces? This may be somewhat accurate. However, it would be on the extreme end of the spectrum. Hiking is a common pastime that, according to experts, is appropriate for people of all ages and athletic abilities. As we discuss the physical and mental benefits of hiking, think of this activity as anything from a saunter through the woods on a flat trail to the rock and mountain climbing we mentioned. Keep in mind, your preferences and skill level are all that dictate the strenuousness of your chosen path.

Hiking Benefits

We have become increasingly aware of the necessity of core strength. Usually, we don’t think of walking, even on a trail, as a way to tighten our core muscles. Walking of any kind is typically associated with cardiovascular benefits. Hiking is no different, but it also naturally forces us to engage the muscles of in the torso to stay balanced on slightly uneven surfaces. The idea of walking on a trail that may be somewhat rocky or uneven does not need to be intimidating; grab some walking poles and be on your way. Planting a pointed pole a few feet in front of you not only supports balance but also takes a bit of stress off of your knee and hip joints.

Breathe In Fresh Air, Breathe Out Stress

It is no secret that physical movement provides a natural outlet for stress. According to several studies, Mother Nature holds her own magic over stress. When we spend time in any green space, from an urban park to a nature preserve, our stress levels naturally decline. Most of the evidence we have that points to the value of nature for stress relief is anecdotal. Still, those who use outdoor time as a method of stress management are usually the first to say they feel a greater sense of composure and peace when they engage in enjoyable outdoor activities like hiking.

Heading out to a trail near you? Bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Schedule A Consultation

Premier Cardiology Consultants is committed to supporting our patients’ ongoing health and vitality. For assistance with your cardiac questions and appointment scheduling, call 516-437-5600.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Chest Pain: Is it Ever Normal?

For most of us, it’s not so much the chest pain itself but what’s causing the discomfort that worries us. Our experts share insight regarding chest pain and when it might be time to worry.

Adjusting to Life with a Pacemaker

Once in place and functioning as programmed, a pacemaker can greatly improve your quality of life. Like all things new, however, there’s an adjustment period. Read our expert guidelines about living with a pacemaker.

Are Heart Palpitations Dangerous?

Are you wondering about that strange fluttering you feel in your chest occasionally? Does it seem like your heart is beating faster than normal? Should you be worried? Read what our cardiologists say about palpitations and what they might mean.

Am I at Risk for Hypertension?

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about half of all Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension). So? Learn what your blood pressure may reveal about your health and why it matters.

What Can Be Learned from a Stress Test?

Your heart works differently at rest than it does when you’re under physical stress. Find out why your cardiologist may want to see how your heart handles a workout and what the results might say about your health.

When a Pacemaker Is Necessary

It’s understandable if you feel anxious about needing a pacemaker. But the lifesaving benefits of these small medical devices far outweigh their very minimal risks and relatively minor inconvenience. Learn more about pacemakers and how they work.