Hiking to lose weight can certainly work in helping you achieve those fitness goals. As long as you aren’t rewarding yourself after the hike with cupcakes and are watching what you eat you will slowly start to see the pounds come off. According to Livestrong, a 200 pound person will burn around 500 calories or so an hour while hiking. This is pretty substantial and hard to do on the treadmill. The ups and downs and rocky terrain are going to put stress on you that walking or jogging on flat ground won’t. So we’ve established that hiking burns a good amount of calories, but does hiking burn belly fat? Well, it doesn’t really work like that, as we’ll get into in this article.
There are many other ways to burn calories and take your fitness to the next level. If you are like a lot of us and want to stay as fit as you can then you already know that it’s all about your caloric intake. Calories in vs calories out. If you want to lose weight you need to take in less calories than your body is burning each day. If you want to just maintain your current weight then you need to keep it pretty even. Additionally if you are trying to gain muscle you need to eat more calories than your body is burning so it can build muscle.
Does hiking burn belly fat?
Yes, but let me explain. It is not possible to target a region of your body and just lose fat in that specific area. So while hiking or any other form of activity can aid in you losing fat, you can’t just hike your belly away only. Think of it like this, you can’t drain just the deep end of a swimming pool. You stick a hose in the pool and pump water out but the water level is going down evenly across the whole pool. Your body works in a similar way. Your body fat is decreased all over your body.
And keep in mind, it’s all about your calorie intake. If you are around 200 lbs though and hike for 2 hours, that’s a whopping 1000 calories burned! That’s a big dinner for most people. Find your TDEE, use an app like MyFitnessPal to keep up with calorie intake, record your hikes, and make sure you are eating at or less than your calorie goal. You will lose belly fat this way if you stick to it. It’s science.
Is hiking a good way to lose weight and get in shape?
Absolutely it is! If you hike regularly and watch what you eat, then you are on the road to losing weight and being healthier. Start small and try to go on a short and non-strenuous 1 mile hike every other weekend, then move to every weekend. Then increase the distance, the frequency, and the difficulty. The idea is to work up to the harder and more difficult hikes.
If you are terribly out of shape, and you know if you are, don’t try and tackle a nine mile hike right away. I’m a fairly regular hiker and am usually pretty tired by the end of one this long. So start small and work your way up, you’ll find hiking is a great way to get in shape and stay in shape. Not to mention it’s fun!
Does hiking make your legs bigger?
I’m going to go ahead and say no. People, it seems mainly women, seem to worry about their legs and butts magically getting too big by accident. Muscle growth does not work like that. Most runners, bicyclers, hikers, or even climbers that you see are fairly muscular but almost always very thin.
The people who have these massive legs and glutes are bodybuilders or powerlifters, and they worked hard to get that way. It doesn’t happen by accident. You have to watch your diet and protein intake like a hawk as well as push yourself to the limits and beyond doing leg exercises to get that big muscular lower half. So get this silly notion out of your head that running, jogging, or hiking will make your legs too big and muscular.
What muscles does hiking work?
Hiking works out your entire lower body for the most part. However it will really put an emphasis on your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip muscles, lower legs, as well as strengthen your core. If you throw some good trekking poles into the mix it will even hit your arms and upper body.
Hiking is great exercise and you will know it the next day. Especially if you do not regularly work out. Just make sure you are wearing proper footwear because your feet are taking all of the impact. This is why I recommend trekking poles and some good hiking shoes. You may also want to look into a good pair of hiking socks.
Have fun out on the trails!