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Does hiking help you lose weight?

Hiking is a great exercise that feels like something other than a typical workout. Hiking can help you lose weight and be fun at the same time. Let us know if hiking is good for weight loss.

Fun fact: when you go hiking, your body burns more calories than when you go for a regular walk. Hiking can also help you burn more calories than running. For more information please read our article: How many calories can you burn when hiking?

Can you lose weight by going hiking?

Yes, hiking can be a great way to help you lose weight. Hiking is a form of cardio, so it enables you to burn fat in the same way that other forms of cardio do.

Additionally, hiking feels like something other than working out. It’s exciting and fun; you can do it almost anywhere, at nearly any time of day or year.

Hiking doesn’t require any special gear, which makes it a simple and easy thing to do. Some people may find hiking poles helpful.

Hiking is easy on your body and joints because it doesn’t stress them much. You can hike alone, with friends, or with your family. It depends on you.

Because hiking trails come in different shapes and sizes and are in other places, each time you go hiking can be very different.

But hiking isn’t just a great way to lose weight. Hiking is a fun activity that can also benefit your mental health.

Hiking is a great way to change your workout routine and help you lose weight without feeling like you’re working out.

Can hiking help you lose belly fat?

Hiking can help you lose fat around your middle. Even though you can’t lose fat in specific places, you can burn fat all over your body, including your belly, by doing physical activities.

Hiking is a type of exercise that can include both aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (non-cardio) workouts (to build muscle mass).

Hiking raises your heart rate, brings more oxygen and blood to your muscles, and can include short bursts of intense activity.

There are different benefits to each type of exercise, but they can all help you lose weight. Most workouts focus on one thing at a time, but hiking works out all of them at once.

If you want to lose belly fat, you have to work to lose fat all over your body. For this reason, hiking can be a good part of your exercise routine.


Can hiking once a week help you lose weight?

Yes, hiking once a week can help you lose weight. But it depends on how many calories your body burns and how long or complex your hike is.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that you should exercise 150–300 minutes per week at a moderate intensity to lose weight.

That’s between 2.5 and 5 hours of steady exercise at a moderate intensity. This also means you should work out hard for 75–100 minutes weekly.

If you want to lose weight by hiking once a week, go on hikes about the same length and difficulty level.

Adding an extra day of exercise can help you lose weight even if you only go hiking once a week (e.g., biking, running).

Hiking should be enjoyable. It can help you lose weight if you do it as part of a well-rounded fitness routine.

But you might be happy to hear that hiking burns more calories than any other cardio activity, according to the CDC.

The CDC says that a person who weighs 154 pounds can burn an average of 185 calories in 30 minutes of hiking.

Things That Burn Calories

When you hike to lose weight, there are a lot of things that affect how much fat and calories you burn. Age, gender, and weight are all important.

Here are some other things to consider, like how strenuous the activity is, how your body is made up, and how much you move daily.

Hiking Knees

Knowing that what helps someone else lose weight might not help you as much is okay.

The most important thing for anyone trying to lose weight is to make exercise a regular part of their daily life.

It would be best to stop being active once you reach your weight goal. It should be something you do every day. Hiking is a great way to get out into nature and stay active.

How to Burn More Calories When Hiking:

There are ways to increase the fat you burn while hiking, but you should always be realistic about what your body can handle.

Many hikers must be rescued every year because they pushed themselves too far on the trails.

If you push yourself too far, you could get tired or hurt. You can still get a good workout even if you don’t choose a strenuous trail.

#1: Choose trails that go uphill.

Choose a trail with a few uphill sections to get your blood pumping and burn more calories.

If you want to lose weight by hiking, going uphill is a great way to get cardio and build strength.

#2: To lose weight while hiking, carry a hiking backpack and climb steps on the trail.

Putting day hike essentials in a backpack makes it heavier, which helps you burn more calories and get stronger.

Bring more water if you’re hiking with weight and want to make your pack heavier. It won’t hurt to bring extra water to keep from getting dehydrated.

Read more: best backpack for womenBest backpack for overweight and big guys

#3: Pick Rough Terrain

Scrambling up rocks and over rocks and roots helps you burn calories and strengthen.

These things are different from things that people do every day. They work out other groups of muscles.

So, you’ll get your blood pumping, strengthen your muscles, and burn more calories.

#4: Pick Up the Pace: A woman who wants to lose weight by hiking and climbing stairs

More calories can be burned when you walk faster. When hiking, walking faster can help you burn even more calories than when you’re just walking.

During a hike, pick up the pace to burn more calories. Even more so when hiking up a mountain trail.

#5: Use Hiking Poles

Using hiking poles helps you use your whole body while hiking. When you move your entire body, you get your blood flowing and burn calories.


#6: Do squats and lunges when hiking

Since you’re outside in a beautiful place, why not do some squats and lunges?

Add squats and lunges to your hike to burn more calories, shape and tone your body, and get in better shape.

#7: Give a short sprint a try

Make short sprints every so often on the trail. Just be careful of roots, rocks, leaves, and other things that could cause you to trip.

#8: Use weights on your ankles or wrists

Ankle and/or wrist weights can be a fun and challenging way to add more weight to your workout to strengthen your arms and legs.

Put them in your backpack if you get tired of them. You’ll still have more weight, but it won’t be on your arms or legs.

  1. Walk into the wind

Hike up to Dragon’s Tooth

Suppose you can hike against the wind if there is one. You can also burn a few extra calories by moving against the wind.

#10: Carrying a baby

Okay, this one only makes sense for parents. But if you hike with a child or a baby in a carrier, you will burn many more calories.

As long as your child doesn’t mind, it can be fun to spend time together and get them interested in nature.

#11: Use stumps and small rocks to help you get up.

When you come across a stump or small rock, step up on it. You can step up and down a few times.

This is a fun and easy way to burn extra calories while hiking. Be careful of the slippery moss.

Other benefits

There may be benefits to trail hiking that you can’t get from walking on a treadmill.

One study found that going mountain hiking outside was better for mood, calmness, and anxiety than walking on a treadmill inside.

Other studies with similar findings suggest that working outside in natural settings may be better for mental health than working out inside.

Walking uphill may help build lower body strength, which is especially important as you age to maintain mobility and avoid injuries.

Hiking may help you lose weight by making you burn more calories. Compared to indoor exercise, it is linked to more mental health improvements.


Calories burned on a hike

How many calories you burn hiking depends on many things, especially your weight and the trail grade, which is how steep the path is.

This table estimates how many calories you burn in an hour based on your weight and the trail’s slope, assuming you walk at an average speed of 2.9–3.5 mph (4.7–5.6 kph).

A grade of 1–5% is not very steep, while 6–15% quality is between medium and steep. Some trails may have a degree as high as 35%, which would burn even more calories.

Slowly raising the incline on a treadmill gives you a sense of how different grades feel.

Other things that affect how many calories you burn are the weight of your pack, the temperature, your age, and your gender.


The calories you burn hiking depend mainly on your weight and the trail grade. If you choose a trail with a steeper angle, you’ll burn more calories per hour.

Hiking vs. walking and running

People also often walk and run outside to stay fit and burn calories.

Calories burned walking

Some walking paths may have hills, but most are flat.

So, even if you walk quickly, you will likely burn fewer calories than if you hike. Still, the terrain, the weather, weight, age, and sex are also important.

The table below compares the calories burned per hour either hiking at a shallow grade of 1–5% — assuming a moderate pace of 2.9–3.5 mph (4.7–5.6 kph) — with walking on flat ground at an average speed of 3 mph (4.8 kph) or a brisk pace of 4.0 mph (6.4 kph).

Trails are usually steeper and less even than sidewalks, walking paths, or neighborhood roads, so hiking burns more calories.

Still, if you need access to trails, hiking may be the same as walking up a steep sidewalk.

Running burns calories.

Like walking, most running takes place on flat ground. How many calories you burn depends on many things, such as your weight and how fast you run.

According to data from a fitness app, the average global running speed is about six mph (9.7 kph) for women and seven mph (11.3 kph) for men.

The table below compares the calories burned per 30 minutes of hiking at a shallow grade of 1–5% — assuming a moderate pace of 2.9–3.5 mph (4.7–5.6 kph) — with running on flat ground at the average rates for women and men mentioned above.

In conclusion

How many calories you burn while hiking depends on your weight, how steep the terrain is, how long your hike is, and other things like the weight of your pack and the temperature.

Generally, hiking uses steeper paths, which burn more calories than walking. Still, hiking burns fewer calories per half hour than running.

This outdoor exercise can help with weight loss, mental health, and lower body strength, among other things.

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