Is hiking good for weight loss

While weight loss does not have to be the goal of your hike, it is a pretty big benefit. It’s hard not to burn a lot of calories when you’re surrounded by beautiful nature! Even the most exercise-averse people enjoy a nice day hike to clear their minds and shed a few pounds. 

If you’re a beginner or just looking for a relaxing way to burn some fat over the weekend, give hiking a shot! So let’s talk about the health benefits of hiking and answer the question, is hiking good for losing weight?


If you are considering hiking as a weight loss tool, you might be wondering if hiking is good exercise or if is hiking cardio. There are various types of hiking, such as backpacking, summit hiking, and long-distance hiking. 

It is estimated that if you weigh 125 pounds and hike across the country for 30 minutes, you will burn 180 calories, which is slightly more than if you choose walking or even getting up and dancing.

For people who weigh 155 and even 185 pounds, hiking burns 266 calories and 223 calories, respectively. In addition, a person who weighs 154 lbs and hikes for an hour burn 370 calories, nearly twice as many as one who hikes for 30 minutes. 

As a result of these results, it’s clear that hiking for less than an hour will burn more calories for a heavier person than for a lighter person. As a result, hiking for several hours will be more effective for weight loss.

 Additionally, backpacking on steep terrain sheds more weight than backpacking on flat ground. 

Why Does Hiking Count As A Complete Lower Body Workout From A Health Perspective?

In addition to helping you manage your weight better, hiking is a full-body workout that engages various muscles and enhances your balance, mood, and core strength (4 ).

  • Quadriceps
  • Claves
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Lower back
  • Hip flexors

With BetterMe app, you can breathe a fresh perspective into the way you view weight loss even if you find it hard to even consider giving up your favorite foods or working out till your legs give way! With BetterMe, fitness and diet can be fun! Check it out today!


Taking a long hike can be beneficial to your health

Whether you’re fit or not, hiking is a great form of exercise. Just like running, you can set inspiring goals and slowly work your way up. In spite of all the ups and downs, hiking is generally considered a moderately physical activity that lowers blood pressure, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, and boosts your mood.

 A Stanford University study from 2015 found that just doing outdoor activities can help to counter depression and anxiety. Hiking also boosts your metabolism, burning calories even after you’ve made it back down. The benefits of exercise of any kind are numerous, but outdoor exercise can help you feel more empowered and calm when you exercise.

It’s not easy to hike – it’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Here are some of the reasons to hit the trails:

  • A total body workout:  Hiking works not only your legs, but the entire body when you use the right equipment (like hiking poles).
  • Hiking can be low impact: Those with aching joints or injuries may benefit from hiking since it is much gentler on the joints than running. While hiking on rough terrain in the backcountry can cause some joint pain, going on well-maintained trails will give your joints a break as well as improve your balance.
  • You can do cardio even if you hate it:
  •  A long sustained hike may not raise your heart rate as high as sprinting, but it still improves your heart health. 
  • The activity is great for socializing: Many people choose to hike with their friends to stay motivated and safe. Plus, it’s a safer way to exercise during Covid season.
  • It’s free: There are plenty of hiking trails all over the world that you can use for a good workout. No gym membership is necessary.
  • It will help you lose body fat: Weight loss doesn’t have to be a sprint! In fact, our bodies use stored fat for energy during activities of long duration and low intensity better than carbs. In other words, those flatter long-distance hikes are going to kickstart your metabolism so that you burn fat for fuel. Keep reading for more tips on how you can maximize your high for weight loss.

How can you lose weight with the help of hiking

1) Choose difficult hikes: Hiking is thrilling when you are climbing mountains, but once you are at the top of one, make sure to move on to the next. Here is a simple hiking difficulty calculator to keep track of your progress.

2) Make use of trekking poles: While trekking poles provide more stability and balance, they also activate your upper body (which helps propel you forward) during hikes. Without them, your legs will have to do all the heavy lifting, and your upper body will miss out on this “free” exercise.

3) Go uphill quickly, and go downhill slowly: You should approach slopes the same way you would a bike; start off fast and keep your speed-up during your climb. Don’t lose control as you descend and let gravity take you down. You will also be able to decrease the impact on your joints by keeping your movements slow, controlled, and focused.

4) Pack plenty of water and gear: If you decide to backpack, make sure you have enough water and gear for the hike and for any accidental missteps. It might seem counterintuitive, but backpacking can actually help you burn more calories and lose weight. Despite the fact that you may feel slower, a 10 to 15-pound backpack can help you burn more calories. Plus, it ensures that you’re safe and prepared for whatever comes your way. A backpack that weighs 10 to 15 pounds can increase your calorie burn by 10% to 15%! The jug of water you bring up the mountain will not be full when you bring it down.

5)Track your progress with an app: Using a useful app like AllTrails can prepare you for your next ascent and allow you to track your progress between ascents, so you have a benchmark to beat.

6) Stay the course: The best way to lose weight is to keep hiking going! Stick to it and aim for one long, low-intensity hike a week and two shorter hikes that are more intense. It’s possible to hike all year round, so don’t let winter get in your way. The winter brings you a lot of weight, both in terms of snow, heavy boots, and a heavier day pack. It’s a whole different ballgame hiking in the wintertime, so if you’re a beginner, start training in the summer months. 

7) Train in between: You should spend 2-3 hours a week doing aerobic exercises to stay fit and prepare your body for longer hikes. Strength training can also help you to balance out your muscles and reduce the risk of muscle imbalances. 

8)You should train DURING your hike:

 You can lose weight and build muscle by taking a slow and low hike and stopping along the way for some bodyweight exercises. Your hike will give you a great opportunity to burn off some extra fat if you include sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, squats, planks, etc.

9) Pay more attention to the experience than the scale:

 There are a lot of things that propel you higher and higher up the mountain, but losing weight shouldn’t be your only goal. Hiking and being surrounded by nature is a gift, so enjoy it.

Frequently asked questions

Does hiking help you lose belly fat?

As a form of cardio, hiking burns belly fat and even builds muscle. Not only does hiking burn calories and shed excess weight, but also strengthens your body.

Is hiking or walking better for weight loss?

As hiking burns far more calories than walking, you are likely to lose a lot of weight if you were previously going for walks around your neighborhood. If the terrain is hilly, a person who weighs 185 pounds can burn 1,064 calories in two hours, according to Harvard Health.

Is hiking an effective way to lose weight?

As a low-impact, a low-intensity activity that generally lasts longer than, for example, a half-hour high-intensity spin session at the gym, hiking can help you lose weight.

Can hiking get you in shape?

In Piedmont, podiatric surgeon Michael Bednarz, DPM, FACFAS, says hiking is a great total-body workout when you’re dressed for success. “As well as strengthening your large muscles, it boosts your mood and energy levels by stimulating the feel-good chemical hormones of adrenaline and endorphins.”

What are hiker’s legs?

A hiker’s legs (also known as trail legs) are earned through prolonged backpacking trips (four to six months).


The answer to whether Is hiking good for weight loss is yes because it is a great way to burn extra calories. You will reap the benefits if you include this activity in your workout plan since it has unique health benefits.

 If you seek the advice of an expert, you can determine whether hiking is the best choice for your overall health, weight loss goals, time, and lifestyle. 

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