If you are hiking for the sole purpose of losing weight, then naturally you want to burn as many calories as possible. Here are some different ways you can hike and increase how many calories you burn overall.
Find the Hills and Challenging Areas
When you are hiking in order to lose weight, you want to pick the trails that are more difficult. This usually means looking at the challenging areas of the hike. Perhaps there is a hike where it isn’t just flat ground around a mountain, but there are steep inclines in several areas, hills to walk up and down, and perhaps even obstacles like large walks you need to walk over. This gets more muscles working and burns more calories than just a simple hike.
Carry a Heavier Pack
Another good way to burn more calories during your hike is to have more resistance. You can do this with a heavier pack, similar to when you wear weights on your ankle during aerobic activity. You are going to burn more calories when there is more resistance from the weight in your pack. Either stock up on more goods, or carry some extra water bottles to weigh it down. However, be careful of how much your shoulders and back can handle, as you don’t want an injury.
Focus on Difficulty, Not Distance
As mentioned in the first section, burning more calories on a trail means choosing the trail wisely. Aside from looking for hills and other challenges, check out the difficulty level, often with a rating, of the trail. Most parks and nature trails will post how difficult the hike is. Don’t just focus on the length and how long you will be walking, but on this difficulty level. It really makes a much bigger difference than you might imagine. But don’t just go for the hardest trail first; work up to it gradually so you don’t get so tired you can get back down.
Have Good Form
Your form during a hike also makes a difference, though you might not have considered it. If you are tired midway through your hike, you might notice your body starts slouching and you aren’t tightening those ab muscles anymore. You might still be getting a good burn, but are decreasing how many calories you could be burning. Keep standing up straight, move your arms and tighten your muscles as much as you can.