Hiking is one of those incredible workouts that doesn’t require a gym, yet it burns a ton of calories. You don’t have to endure stifling heat while using the stair climber in your basement, you can avoid the stench of sweaty bodies at the gym, and you get to enjoy the beauty of nature while you get in shape. If you want the ultimate workout that is good for the body and the mind, ditch yoga today and go for a hike. Check out these 10 ways you can burn calories on a hike.
How to Boost and Burn Calories
1. Hike when there is a breeze
Resistance from the wind will boost your calorie-burning potential. If there is a breeze outside or the wind has picked up, it is time to hike. Wind resistance can increase your burn by about 5%. Just avoid the tops of high peaks when it’s gusty out.
2. Go up
Do not stay on flat straightaways. That’s walking. If you want to feel the burn from a hike, then go up. When you spot parts of the trails that ascend, take them; Don’t walk around them.
3. Jog every 30 seconds
You don’t have to be a trail runner to enjoy the rush or benefits of a trail run. When you are hiking, you will probably encounter a few spots that are flatter than the rest. Take the opportunity to jog on these areas. If you really want to increase the intensity and your calorie-burning potential, jog uphill when it is safe.
4. Take dumbbells or carry your water bottles in your hands
When I say dumbbells, I don’t mean big and bulky equipment. Grab a pair of hand-weights to take with you or put a water bottle in each hand. Carry weights in your hands while you walk and do a few arm and shoulder exercises instead of letting your arms dangle at your side. Try these exercises with weights on the next trail to burn calories:
- Bicep curl
- Upright row
- Lateral press
5. Carry a pack
Adding weight by carrying a pack can increase the intensity of the workout. Make sure you don’t carry a large pack on the first hike, but gradually increase the size and weight or your pack every week. By the end of a month, you will be able to carry a larger pack, burn more calories, and you will pack everything you need for the trip. Depending on your size and weight, carrying a 40-lbs. pack on a hike can burn up to 600 calories per hour.
6. Lunge while you explore
Increase the intensity of the hike and burn calories by lunging when you are on slight inclines. Hill lunges are a more effective lunge that will burn more fat, and tone your glutes and legs. To do a lunge:
- In the starting position, your feet should be together.
- Step one foot out to the split position and find balance. Your front foot be flat on the ground.
- Come straight down while keeping your back straight and your core tight.
- When you rise, push up through the heel of the front foot.
- Do this on each side on the inclines
7. Get out more than once
Hike more than once a week. Try to spend your weekends outdoors. The more you go, the better your health and stamina become. If you cannot make it to the trails during the week, cross-training during the week will help you stay in shape for the weekend adventures. Have fun while you stay active during the week with these activities:
- Riding a bike
- Going for a swim
- Binging on your favorite show while you are on the stair climber or the treadmill (best two-for-one)
- Jumping rope in the front yard with the kids
8. Be a kid again
Kids have it all figured out when it comes to staying in shape without dreading the gym. Kids are curious, kids are adventurous, and kids don’t slow down. Next time you are on a hike, ask yourself how a kid would tackle the trails. You will find yourself skipping, jumping off stumps, sprinting around corners, and hopping from rock to rock. Channel your inner kid to burn more calories on the trail.
9. Step ups on stumps
Use nature to boost your hike. When you come across a stump, try doing 10-15 step-ups on the stump to increase your heart rate and burn calories. To do a step-up, remember these tips:
- Place your left foot on the top of a stump.
- Press through your left heel as you step your right foot up.
- Bring your right foot up to your left so you are standing tall on the top of the stump.
- Step your left foot down to the ground and then bring your right foot down next to your left.
- Alternate your feet each time you step up onto the stump.
10. Push-ups on bridges and rock faces
When you are near a flat, elevated surface or a bridge railing, sneak in a few push-ups to tone your arms and your core.
This weekend, make your hike the best hike. COR offers boot camp that does monthly hikes. Join us.
Find us online and share your photos of you crushing your next hike.