Calories, calories, calories – it seems to be something you constantly hear in reference to weight loss and exercise. People have gotten more and more conscious about their health and fitness, choosing to become members in gyms or take fitness classes to get to their desired weight or level of health and fitness.
But a great way you can loose a bit of weight and get some exercise while giving your mind some quiet time and your lungs some clean air to breathe is to take a backpack and go on a hike.
Hiking is a great way to burn all those unwanted calories and to get your body moving. There are a ton of health benefits to hiking as well. It can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, increase bone density, strengthen and tone your body, and even help alleviate stress and anxiety.
But the question is, how many calories does hiking burn? How long do I have to hike to burn those extra pounds of weight I’m trying to loose?
The fact is that there is no set of definitive numbers that will tell you exactly how many you will burn when you go on a hike. There are a number of factors that affect how much calories you actually burn because it varies from person to person and in every situation.
Things such as your body weight, the effort you put, how fast you walk, the intensity of the hike, and any extra weight you might be carrying are all going to affect how many calories you burn.
While there is no specific number of calories you burn, we can start with a baseline reference. One of the main factors that will affect the number of calories you burn is your body weight.
In general, a person that weighs 160lbs can burn around 430 to 440 calories per hour of hiking. This number increases the more you weigh. A person weighing 200lbs, for example, can burn up to 550 calories per hour.
If you want to check how a general list of how many calories you can burn while hiking, you can check out this article from Diet Bites:
EFFORT, INTENSITY, AND SPEED
Multiple studies have shown that the more effort you give, or the higher the intensity of the workout, the more calories you burn, even after your workout. This is why workouts such as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) have gained popularity because you give it your all for about 30 minutes and then you’re done. The result is that you burn just as much, but in more cases, even more calories than if you had run for 1 hour on a treadmill on a slow and steady pace.
If you hike at higher intensities for 45 minutes, you can burn up to an additional of 190 calories. This means moving faster than normal or picking more challenging trails that may even require you to use trekking poles to workout even your upper body.
In the same way that you burn more calories the more you weigh, the more you carry in your backpack can also increase the number of calories you burn.
Carrying a light daypack, for example, can burn you an extra 50 to 100 calories compared to if you didn’t carry any extra weight at all. If you’re carrying a heavy load like for long backpacking trips, you can burn an additional of 200 calories in an hour of hiking.
Check out this calorie counter from Spark People . It calculates how many calories you burn depending on your weight and how many minutes you spend exercising. It is specific for hiking and with the assumption that you are carrying a load that is under 10lbs.
So if we apply the general principle of burning around 430 calories per hour if you weigh 160lbs, it would take about 8 hours of hiking for you to burn off 1lb of body weight. But of course, this changes depending on all the other factors mentioned previously.
If you’re even more curious, Health Status has this amazing calorie burned counter that gives you how many calories you burn doing regular day-to-day activities such as brushing your teeth and doing the laundry, all the way to different types of exercises, as well as your favorite outdoor adventures like backpacking, rock climbing and so much more – almost everything is on there!
YOUR HIKING PAL
If you really want to get into it and see exactly how many calories you are burning while hiking, you can always get an exercise monitor. There are so many different kinds that can do all sorts of things – from simply measuring the number of steps you walk all the way to how many calories you burn.
A good product you can try out is the Q-Band. It doesn’t just track the calories you burn while doing activities; it also tracks your sleep, your heart rate, your walking paths, and so much more. This way, you can see exactly how many calories you are burning no matter what type of hike you are going on.
AN EXERCISE FOR EVERYONE
The great thing about hiking to help you burn calories is that it doesn’t feel like an exercise routine, so it would be easier for you to stick to it. And what’s great is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to be extremely fit or skilled to hike. You just need a good pair of shoes and a determination to keep going – and maybe your Q-Band fitness pal so you can track your progress nicely.
If you have any more questions about this topic, feel free to drop them in the comments below. You can also go ahead and share this article with all your hiking buddies and let them know how long they need to hike if they want to burn that extra bit of weight for summer!