The Benefits of Hiking for Seniors

Updated on April 10, 2020

It has already been proven time and time again that exercising on a regular basis brings forth numerous health benefits. Trying to stay active and move around as much as possible becomes even more important as you age. The fact that, as we get older, our bodies and metabolism start slowing down means that we should do all in our power to keep ourselves healthy.

One of the best ways you can ensure that you get enough physical activity – as a senior – is with hiking. This fun outdoor activity will enable you to spend some time enjoying nature and fresh air while also offering some additional health benefits. Check them out.

What are some of the benefits?

As mentioned earlier, hiking has numerous benefits for your overall health. Not only does it improve your mobility – which is very important in senior years, but it also has positive effects on your cardiovascular health. Furthermore, hiking will improve your circulation which can significantly reduce the chance of some serious complications. Additionally, it will improve the state of your respiratory system as you’ll be spending more time in nature and fresh air. Add to that the fact that a regular yet moderate physical activity can reduce depression and improve your mental well-being and you’ll understand why you should try to squeeze this activity into your lifestyle. Finally, since hiking is absolutely free, it becomes a great choice for anyone looking to get their bodies moving.

How to get started?

Before you start going on regular hikes, however, you will need to prepare in advance. First of all, schedule an appointment with your doctor and consult them about taking this activity on. Ask them what are some of the best ways you can start and see if they offer you any additional tips. Furthermore, do know that you will need to invest in some hiking gear to ensure that you stay comfortable and – most importantly – safe on your hikes. So, get a pair of quality hiking boots and even consider investing in hiking sticks. Both of these will help you ensure that you’re standing firmly on the ground and have the necessary amount of support. When hiking, you should always be able to feel the terrain under your feet, to avoid any potential accidents that may result in slips, sprains or falls. 

What you should pay attention to

Finally, there are some additional things that require your attention when going hiking. The type of terrain you choose is the first thing you’ll need to assess. Even if you have all the protective gear and other things that can aid you in your efforts, you should refrain yourself from picking a particularly difficult or harsh terrain. Instead, start off with a short and flat trail. Only once you fully master it and feel comfortable enough to take things a step further should you gradually make your hikes longer and more intense. If you rush things, you will only end up putting yourself and your health at risk, which is certainly something you should avoid. Also, you need to ensure that you stay well hydrated during your hiking efforts. Bring a bottle of water or refreshing lemonade to rehydrate whenever you feel you’re getting a bit thirsty. Additionally, make sure you bring a healthy snack or an energy bar to replenish your energy levels as soon as you start noticing that they’re a bit down. Increased physical activity will lower your blood sugar level, so you need to ensure you have something to prevent it from dropping dangerously low. 

Hiking is the perfect type of activity for people who are looking to stay more physically active in their senior years. Not only is it beneficial for our overall health but it’s also absolutely free. That makes it a great activity that can easily be enjoyed no matter your age. 

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Senior Outlook Today is your go-to source for information, inspiration, and connection as you navigate the later years of life. Our team of experts and writers is dedicated to providing relevant and engaging content for seniors, covering topics such as health and wellness, finances, technology and travel.