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8 Benefits Of Trekking And Hiking In Mountains

Benefits of trekking and hiking

Are you bored of following your daily routine and looking for something to rejuvenate yourself? 

If yes, trekking and hiking can be the perfect activity for you. Wondering how? 

Trekking or hiking is an activity in which you walk long distances through the forest, spend the night under an open sky, camp near a river, wake up before sunrise, push yourself to climb peaks, and overcome numerous obstacles to survive and reach the peak.  

In return, all these activities offer thrills, adventure, a sense of achievement, and many other benefits. Do you want to know them? Keep Reading!

In this blog, I have listed seven benefits of trekking and hiking in the mountains. After going through these benefits, you will surely pack your backpack and head to the mountains.   

1. Improves Your Physical Fitness

benefits of trekking and hiking
Image by Devraj Bajgain from Pixabay

Trekking and hiking in the mountains involve long hours of walking up and down the hill. This improves your muscle strength, especially the leg muscles. Furthermore, as you put more effort into climbing the trail, your heart and lungs are also made to work faster, which improves your stamina and lung capacity. 

While trekking, you also carry weight, strengthening your back and shoulder muscles. Your arm muscles also strengthen as you do activities like picking up your rucksack, pitching tents, and carrying equipment. Overall, when you trek, almost all the muscles in your body are put to work, which improves your physical fitness. 

Moreover, when you go on a trek, you will notice a reduction in your weight after a few days of trekking. This shows that trekking can make you fitter. 

So, if your goal is to lose weight or improve your overall fitness, just head for trekking in the mountains and enjoy trekking health benefits. 

2. Help You Relieve Stress

Numerous research has proved that trekking has a significant impact on your brain and gives you relief from stress. Moreover there are multiple other mental health benefits of trekking. 

During a trek, you are away from the noise of your daily life and instead breathe in the fresh air, regularly walk for at least 2-3 hours, get involved in nature, eat and sleep on time, and have ample time to connect with yourself. All these activities increase Dopamine levels in your brain, which helps relieve stress. Dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that enhances your mood. 

In addition, while trekking, you feel a sense of self-accomplishment after climbing the peak, further boosting your confidence.  

3. Calm Your Mind And Improve Focus 

This is another benefit of hiking and trekking. Researchers have proven that when you trek in nature, it calms your mind and improves focus. 

Trekking and hiking are slow activities as you walk to cover long distances. During these walks, your mind slowly absorbs the scenic views, the sound of birds chirping, rivers flowing down the valley, and the warm heat of the sun. All this has a significant effect on your nervous system and helps calm down your mind. 

Besides, you are deeply involved in the nature, which increases your focus, too. As there are almost zero distractions for you during the trek, you can concentrate on things and cherish the beauty of nature. 

4. Offer You Opportunity To Connect With Nature 

If you like being in nature and cherish its beauty, trekking and hiking are the perfect activities. 

Trekking and hiking are done in the mountains, so you spend time amidst nature. You walk inside the dense forest, cross gushing rivers down the valley, climb peaks with thrilling views, get chances to spot rare species of flora and fauna and sleep under a sky full of stars. 

Besides, you wake up with the sun’s rays piercing your tent, eat breakfast while sitting on the lush green meadows, and spend time sitting near a picturesque lake. 

Throughout the trek, it’s you and nature. You have all the time to connect with things that nature offers and reap trekking health benefits. 

5. Provides You Opportunity For Social Bonding 

Benefits of trekking and hiking

In your daily life, you are so involved in your work and family that you rarely get a chance to spend time with other people. But while trekking in the mountains, you spend time with people from different backgrounds and explore new cultures. It helps you build new relationships, and in fact, some friendships become lifelong.  

While trekking in the Himalayas, I met numerous people from all over the world. I shared tents with trekkers from Australia and Singapore and spent months with local families in Kashmir, which allowed me to explore their culture, food, and way of life. 

I spent days with all these friends laughing, sharing moments of joy after climbing the peak, dancing around a bonfire, singing songs, and helping each other during the trekking struggles. These bonds were so strong that we are all connected even today.

So, if you are shy or want to meet people from diverse backgrounds, go trekking this upcoming season. You will surely enjoy bonding with people and boasting about the benefits of trekking and hiking with your friends. 

6. Offer You Thrilling Adventure 

benefits of trekking and hiking

Crossing gushing rivers, climbing in the dark on snow, standing at the top of a peak, trekking inside the dense forest, walking on lush green meadows with a magnificent view of the Himalayas, sleeping inside a tent and eating food in the open sky are what trekking offers. It is a complete adventure package with numerous benefits of trekking and hiking. 

I have done many treks, including Tarsar Marsar, Roopkund, and Kashmir Great Lakes, and all have been full of adventure. 

7. Help You Experience Numerous Culture

Going on a trek or hike takes you to the remotest areas, where you can explore different cultures. 

For example, if you go on a Tarsar Marsar Trek in Kashmir, you are exposed to Kashmiri culture from day one. At Aru, you meet local Kashmiris and explore their cuisine, regional language, and way of living their day-to-day lives. Moreover, on trekking days, you come across nomads with entirely different lifestyles. They stay in mud houses with their sheep. Their language, dress, and way of surviving are things to explore.

8. Help In Self Discovery And Personal Growth

Last on this list of benefits of trekking and hiking is the benefit of self-discovery and personal growth. 

Going on a trek and hike means moving out of your comfort zone. 

Trekking challenges you at every step by exposing you to various challenges. You have the challenge of crossing a river, climbing a steep slope, walking continuously for hours, trekking in deep snow, and climbing during early hours in freezing temperatures. Other times, you are challenged to sleep in freezing temperatures, walk early, and struggle to reach the summit. 

Overcoming all these challenges during a trek helps you build confidence, explore new strengths, and become mentally tougher. In addition, you develop life-saving skills, life-long friendships, and a new perspective on life.

While trekking, you have ample time to be with yourself and reflect on your habits and life. This leads to self-discovery. 

FAQ About Benefits Of Trekking And Hiking 

Is there a difference between hiking and trekking?

Yes. Hiking involves climbing a small peak or mountain that is easy to climb and has a short distance. It is usually a one-day activity. Moreover, you only carry a small backpack full of food and water. On the other hand, trekking is a multiple-day hike in the mountains. During a trek, you walk daily for at least 3 to 4 hours to cover a certain distance and reach a new campsite. It usually ranges from 2 to 7 days; furthermore, during a trek, you must pack and carry everything, including a tent, sleeping bag, food and other essentials, per the duration and number of people. 

What is the objective of trekking?

Trekking aims to take you close to nature and make you feel stress-free, fitter, responsible and sensible. In addition, jungle trekking has numerous benefits.

Which exercise is best for trekking?

Running and climbing stairs with weight are the best exercises to prepare for trekking. Running improves your stamina, which helps you cover long distances during trekking. Climbing stairs with weight on your back enables you to build strong leg muscles, making climbing easy during trekking. 

What is the best age to start trekking?

There is no best age to trek. You can start as early as five years and trek until your body allows you to do so.

Final Words On Benefits Of Trekking And Hiking

Trekking and hiking can be done by anyone, including children and older people, and offers numerous benefits. It can make you mentally and physically fit, help to build lifelong friendships, offer adventure, provide opportunities to explore different cultures, and calm you from the inside. 

So, if you want to reap all these benefits of trekking and hiking, plan a trek or hike in the upcoming days.   

If you have anything to share regarding the benefits of trekking and hiking, do comment. 

About the author

An adventurer by passion, Arjun is a trained mountaineer from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and certified WFA( wilderness first aid) responder from Hanifl Center. He has worked as Trek Leader with renowned trekking companies and have trekked extensively in Himalayas.

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