Brides, I know you want to lose weight for your wedding if you’re reading this! So I’m going to share with you one of the most effective low-impact workouts you can do all summer long (and beyond) to get in shape for your wedding.
When is the last time you went on a hike? Have you ever gone on a long hike and felt exhausted and like you had burned a thousand calories? The reason is because hiking is an extremely effective way to get in shape!
I’m going to share some different ways hiking can help you lose weight and maybe you’ll want to add this cardio workout to your regular routine!
You Can Burn More Calories
This is definitely one of the top reasons women include hiking in their weekly workout routines. In just about an hour of this amazing low-impact cardio workout, the average woman burns between 450-500 calories. This is compared to around 300 or more with regular walking. You are using more muscles and going up and down hills, which is going to burn more calories in the same amount of time as walking around your neighborhood. The most accurate way to tell how many calories you are burning is to wear a fitness tracker, so don’t forget your Apple Watch or Fitbit!
It Helps You to Lose Inches
In addition to burning calories, hiking is also going to help you to lose those inches. Even if the pounds aren’t coming off on the scale, this doesn’t mean you aren’t losing weight! You might be gaining muscle through the workout, which means you are burning fat and not necessarily pounds. You are using large muscle groups when you’re hiking, like your abs, glutes and hamstrings, so you are strengthening your muscles the entire time. It is a good idea to take your measurements on the same day as weighing yourself so you can compare those numbers as well. You may notice that, even if the scale does not move, your clothes are fitting better.
You Get More Energy For Wedding Activities
Hiking is a great form of energy as well. You would think it would make you more tired, but this type of exercise activity boosts your natural energy levels so you have energy for wedding planning and all the fun wedding events! If you hike earlier in the day, you will feel energized for the rest of the day, which might include more movement or just being more active in general. This can definitely help you to burn more calories and lose weight in the process.
You Can Boost Your Calorie Burn
Don’t forget that just hiking alone burns a good amount of calories, but you can increase the calorie burn with a few simple tweaks. You can carry a heavier backpack by adding more water bottles, choose trails with obstacles or steeper hills, or try to move your arms more while hiking to get more muscles working and calories burning. Bringing an activity tracker really helps you to see how much you are burning so you know when you want to increase the intensity.
Want to know how to burn even more calories while hiking?
Find the Hills and Challenging Areas
When you are hiking in order to lose weight for your big day, you want to pick the trails that are more difficult. This usually means looking at the challenging areas of the hike, like hills to walk up and down. This gets more muscles working and burns more calories than just a simple hike.
Add Some Resistance
Another good way to burn more calories during your hike is to have more resistance. In addition (or instead of) adding more weight to your backpack, you can wear ankle or arm weights to increase the intensity and calorie burn.
Focus on Difficulty, Not Distance
Like I said, burning more calories on a trail means choosing a more challenging trail. Aside from looking for hills and other challenges, check out the difficulty level, often with a rating, of the trail. Most parks and nature trails will post how difficult the hike is. Don’t just focus on the length and how long you will be walking, but on the difficulty level. It really makes a much bigger difference than you might imagine! But don’t just go for the hardest trail first; work your way up gradually so you don’t overdo it and exhaust yourself.
Always Focus on Good Form
Your form during a hike makes a huge difference! Keep your core engaged, your shoulders back and down, and your chest open. If you are tired midway through your hike, you might notice your body starts slouching and you aren’t tightening those ab muscles anymore. You might still be getting a good burn, but are decreasing how many calories you could be burning. Keep standing up straight, move your arms and tighten your muscles as much as you can.
You might want to go hiking as part of your “sweating for the wedding” routine, but this is only one of many different health benefits you could get from it!
Here are some different health benefits you can get from going on hikes…
It Helps With Your Cardiovascular Health
Hiking is not only great for weight loss, but it helps your overall health as well. Specifically, it is going to make your heart and lungs healthier and stronger. Hiking gets your body moving and helps you to lose the extra fat at the same time. This helps to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and gets the blood pumping through your heart more regularly. This can help to avoid heart disease and other major issues like stroke, as well as allow you to live a longer life with your significant other!
You Become Fitter and Leaner
You will also notice that aside from pounds coming off, you are getting fitter. Your clothes will be loose because the inches are melting off, while you have a leaner and fitter body. You may notice more muscle definition on your arms, legs, and abs! When you are hiking, you are using a lot of your muscles, providing you with an amazing full-body workout. Tightening your ab muscles will help you become even more fit and strong in your core. The more difficult a hiking trail is, the more muscle power it is going to use.
It Can Improve Your Mental Health
Hiking, along with other physical activities, are excellent for your mental health. Hiking is great for releasing endorphins, the happy chemicals in your brain. You will notice that your mood is boosted when you go on a hike, helping you to feel happier and less stressed about everything going on with your wedding planning and life in general. It can also help with anxiety and depression, both with the physical activity and the scenery. Being outside will boost your vitamin D levels, which is so good for your mental health. If you struggle with depression or high amounts of stress, you’ll gain so much more from hiking than just the physical benefits.
Have I convinced you to add hiking to your weekly workout routine yet?! I hope so, because it is truly an underrated low-impact workout that you’ll gain SO much from if you add it to your wedding workout plan!
Need a full bridal fitness workout routine? Join Bridal Body Fitness, our signature wedding workout program to help you get in your best shape for your wedding day! And yes, you can combine your new hiking routine with the program!