While nearly everyone is aware that walking improves your health, not everyone knows the benefits of getting a good workout through hiking. Rena M. Margules goes hiking on one of a dozen trails near her home almost every weekend. “It’s so much more than just about walking,” she says. Here, Rena Margules talks about some of the health benefits of hiking that she wasn’t aware of before starting what turned out to be a vigorous weekend routine.
Rena Margules said she just walked the short trails first and slowly progressed up to some of the hardest trails on the east coast. “One of the things I wasn’t aware of was that hiking really helped my balance,” says Rena. Her balance wasn’t bad to start with, she adds, but as she got stronger from hiking on the weekends, she could tell that it improved significantly. Rena Margules credits it all to her muscles getting stronger from all the uphill and downhill walking. This has the added benefit of giving her glutes, hamstrings, and hip muscles a great workout each time.
Another thing Rena Margules says she has noticed is that her stamina has improved. “I used to just walk the flat trails,” she says. “Now, I can do the steep ones without losing my breath.” Rena says when she takes friends with her, she makes sure she stays on the flat trails unless the friend is really in shape. “It’s not fun to be so breathless you can’t talk,” she adds.
One of the things Rena Margules said that surprised her was that her skin tone is better. “I don’t know how many people have said my complexion has improved,” she says. “They all want to know what new products I’m using,” she laughs, “but it’s all due to the workouts I’m getting while hiking.”
Finally, Rena Margules says she has noticed that she’s able to think more clearly. “There were times in the past when I’d have what I’d call brain fog,” she says. “That’s when everything in your mind just runs together, and it’s hard to think a coherent thought,” Rena says. “But that doesn’t happen much anymore since I’ve been hiking,” she adds. I’m pretty sure it’s due to the increased circulation.
Rena Margules says that hiking every weekend has caused her to also think about her eating habits. She no longer eats junk food or starchy foods. “My body wants healthy food now, she says. “It’s strange, but my body wants vegetables and fruits, and I no longer get sugar cravings,” Rena Margules says. Although she says she doesn’t know if getting in shape from hiking has changed her eating habits, she’s very happy with her new diet and her new look. “I can really tell the difference in my clothes,” she adds.