Fitness for All: Take a Walk… or a Hike

Written by Lisa Jillanza

In 2018, more than 111 million people chose walking as their aerobic activity of choice and in 2020, hiking enticed 57.8 million Americans to hit the trail, a number that dramatically increased since 2014.

 

Both activities are low-risk ways to get your exercise in (especially during a pandemic) and keep you moving!

But is walking better than hiking? Or is hiking better than walking? Here a couple things to keep in mind when choosing to lace up your sneakers or hiking boots.

Walking is typically done outside in an urban or suburban flat area (or indoors on a treadmill or at a mall), while hiking is done in the outdoors along natural terrain, with elevation changes.

Both walking and hiking can help you to manage cholesterol and blood pressure. They are both great for improving heart and lung performance, and they both can help you lose weight.

If you want to burn more calories, hiking is your better option. While you can burn approximately 100 calories per mile walking, you can burn approximately 500 calories per mile hiking while wearing a heavy backpack going over arduous terrain.

If you are looking for an inexpensive workout, then walking wins this one. You can walk for free anywhere; while you might have to drive further distances to hike and wear hiking boots and use other hiking gear for peak performance.

Whether you choose to take a hike or take a walk, both activities are great ways to get your exercise, clear your mind and take a breath of fresh air!