Hike Your Way to Weight Loss: 10 Reasons to Go for a Hike Today

Hike Your Way to Weight Loss: 10 Reasons to Go for a Hike Today

Walking is one of the easiest ways to achieve your 30 minutes of daily activity. Hiking might as well be called “;next level”; walking–;it”;s more enjoyable, more engaging and a bit more challenging (but still not too hard). That”;s probably why hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities, with more than 47 million Americans reporting that they hiked at least once in 2018, says Statista.com. If you haven’t added hiking to your weight loss exercise routine, we”;re here to tell you why you should start today.

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Get outside and take a hike! Here are 10 reasons to start hiking today:
1. Hiking is easy.

easy workout

You don”;t need to learn special skills, be super fit or have any prior experience. Hiking is simply walking on an outdoor trail. Even the challenges, such as going up and down hills or navigating uneven terrain, are manageable for beginners. If you can walk, you can most likely hike.

2. It burns more calories than walking.

burn calories

At a brisk walking pace of 17 minutes per mile, a 155-pound person burns about 149 calories in 30 minutes, says Harvard Health Publishing. Add a few hills on a hike and the calories burned jumps to 223 calories in 30 minutes–;that”;s about 50 percent more calories burned in the same amount of time.

3. It lifts your mood.

hiking

According to Stanford News, walking in natural areas rather than in man-made environments reduces “activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.” The 2015 study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Other research has found that spending time in nature may help to reduce stress, says Harvard Health Publishing.

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4. Hiking strengthens your heart.

stress

Stress is said to be contributor to heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure), so reducing stress might also lower your risk of suffering from these cardiac conditions, says Harvard Health Publishing. Hiking also gives your heart–;a powerful muscle–;a steady workout, helping it to grow strong and pump more efficiently even when you”;re at rest. “Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder,” explains Harvard Health Publishing.

5. Hiking flattens your belly.

flat belly

Going up and down inclines and traversing uneven terrain engages your core muscles–;the big muscles between your rib cage and knees, says Harvard Health Publishing. These include your abdominals, glutes (backside) and thighs. Hiking helps strengthen and tone those muscles as you shed excess pounds, so you become visibly leaner and firmer. Don’t forget to bring some flat belly snacks along on your hike! Check out these four easy ideas. >

6. It improves your balance.

hiking

Our sense of balance is essential to many everyday activities, such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of the shower or reaching up to high shelves. According to Time Magazine, the uneven terrain experienced while hiking can help to build up muscles that you don’t normally use. “Pumping up those oft-neglected muscles may improve your balance and stability, which helps protect you from falls,” they explain. For most people, the sense of balance deteriorates with age. Hiking keeps it working effectively.

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7. It expands your mind.

hiking

Most of us spend our time looking at lit screens and the same views day in and day out. When we get out in nature, we get better at focusing our attention, solving problems and developing creative ideas, according to the scientific journal, PLoS One. So, get outside, take a hike and get inspired!

8. Hiking is inexpensive.

easy workout

Unlike nearly every other fitness activity, hiking costs you almost nothing. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes with a good tread. Yes, you can buy hiking shoes that will make your hikes easier and more comfortable. However, feel free to start out wearing ordinary sneakers before committing to purchasing footwear designed for this purpose.

9. Hiking happens anywhere.

hiking

Every state in the U.S. has national parks, historic trails and protected wilderness areas that you can visit. The National Park Service website allows you to search by state to find those closest to you. Many state and county parks also feature marked trails with signs that tell you how long and how challenging the trails are. With a little observation and investigation, you can often find unofficial trails to hike and undeveloped areas around your home. (Just be sure you”;re not trespassing on private property.) For more trail ideas, check out the American Trails Website.

10. Hiking is for everyone.

hiking

Wherever you are on your weight loss journey, you can enjoy the pleasures of hiking. You don”;t need to train, set goals or measure results. You can just take a walk in nature and feel good while you”;re doing it and for hours after you”;re back.

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New to hiking? Check out these four helpful tips for beginners:
1. Start slow.

hiking

For your first few hikes, choose routes that are shorter than you would normally walk–;hiking is more challenging than walking and you don”;t want to overdo it and find yourself sore or too exhausted when you are finished.

2. Bring water.

drink water

This will ensure you don”;t dehydrate along the way. Adequate water helps you stay alert and energized and keeps your metabolism working. Looking for the perfect water bottle to take on your hiking adventures? Click here for our water bottle shopping tips! >

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3. Go with a buddy.

hiking

Almost everything is more fun when you do it together. Hiking with a partner also ensures that in the unlikely event something goes wrong–;whether you get lost or twist an ankle–;help is right by your side. If you do choose to go on your own for a little solitude, be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

4. Keep your eyes and ears open.

hiking

We”;re accustomed to listening to our inner dialogues all day long. Take time while you”;re hiking to tune in to the sights and sounds around you. There are so many delights in nature, from birds chirping and flowers blooming to the rustle of tree leaves in a gentle breeze. Focusing on them can chase away your everyday cares and worries for a little while and make your life feel a little bit better, no matter what else is happening in the world.

Looking for a healthy meal delivery service to pair with your fitness routine? Learn more about Nutrisystem! >

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The post Hike Your Way to Weight Loss: 10 Reasons to Go for a Hike Today appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

10 Household Chores That Seriously Burn Calories

10 Household Chores That Seriously Burn Calories

Whether confined to home by choice or the result of stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people are using the time to check items off the household “;to-do list.”; Though you certainly might not enjoy housework or chores, it may help to know that many of these activities can burn serious calories. Not only will your home be cleaner, but you”;ll feel good about slimming down while you work. We’ve put together a list of some common household chores that can keep you fit and healthy while social distancing.

Here are 10 household chores that can help you lose weight and burn calories:
1. Sweep and Mop to See Pounds Drop

Chores and Exercises during COVID-19

Looking to tone those arms and shoulders? Sweeping and mopping both make a great upper body home workout while you’re in self isolation. But on top of that, these household chores double as exercise and are serious calorie blasters. According to Good Housekeeping, 138 minutes of mopping floors is estimated to burn somewhere around 405 calories if you”;re working vigorously. Throw in some lunges while you”;re at it and you”;ll truly get in a total body toning home workout–;all the while getting things done!

2. Push It!

Chores and Exercises during COVID-19

For more at home arm workouts, grab the vacuum and get to work. Vacuuming is also a great way to get your heart rate up for some cardiovascular benefits. In order to get more out of it, try exaggerating your movements. Take big lunges as you move the vacuum forward for some added leg toning. You might also consider picking up the tempo. Put on some music and throw in some dance moves as you work. It”;s a great way to make chores and housework more fun while accomplishing both cleaning and exercise goals. Plus, you’re safe at home in quarantine.

3. Trim the Grass to Trim Your Waistline

lawn care

If you”;ve got a push mower, then mowing the grass can be a great calorie burner. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person burns about 167 calories in 30 minutes of push mowing the lawn. Just make sure you”;re staying hydrated as things heat up outdoors! Check out these helpful H2O tips to practice proper hydration and ensure you”;re drinking enough water as the weather gets warmer!

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4. Wash Away the Calories

Chores and Exercises during COVID-19

Another activity that can be done safely in the confines of your own home (or rather, driveway) during the Coronavirus pandemic is washing the family car. According to Harvard Health, 30 minutes of vigorous car washing can torch somewhere around 167 calories in a 155-pound person. Channel your inner Karate Kid with some “;wax on wax off”; movements with the sponge and you”;ll feel those arm muscles burning in no time. The more you scrub, the more calories you burn and the cleaner your car gets. It”;s a win all around!

5. Get Your Spring Cleaning Underway

organization tips

There”;s something about having the windows open and the fresh air coming in to inspire people to spring clean. It probably has to do with a new season and a fresh beginning. While decluttering during spring cleaning is good for the mind, it can also be good for the body. Lifting and moving heavy items, bagging up clothing donations and rearranging can all help work up a sweat. Whether you”;re clearing out a garage, a closet or a junk room, you”;ll feel good that you”;re making your home cleaner and more organized while also burning calories. Take a peek at these six spring cleaning to-do”;s for added weight loss this season during the times of social distancing and quarantine.

6. Grab the Paint!

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Tired of staring at the same white walls while you’re stuck at home? Being in self isolation all day might have you rethinking one or more of your wall colors. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders when it comes to an easy room makeover. But it can be a great workout, too. According to Harvard Health, painting inside for 30 minutes can burn 167 calories in a 155-pound person. Painting is a fantastic way to work your arm and leg muscles. You”;ll get a room refresh while building lean muscle that helps you burn calories.

7. Ditch the Dishwasher

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While you might be used to tossing all those dirty dishes in the automatic dishwasher, why not take a half hour to do a sink-full by hand? You”;ll conserve household energy while using your own energy to burn calories. The harder you scrub, the more you”;ll burn and the cleaner those dishes will be! Now is also a great time to get out some of those hard-to-clean pots and pans and put some elbow grease into your effort.

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8. Weeding Away the Calories

gardening tips

When it comes to yard work, pulling weeds might be pretty low on your “;want-to-do list.”; But knowing that it can be a great calorie buster might move it up a few notches. You”;ll get in some leg toning exercise as you squat and bend. Plus, you”;ll need to use your arm muscles to yank and pull at those deep-rooted weeds. Your body–;and your plant beds–;will look better because of it. 30 minutes of weeding can burn 172 calories in a 155-pound person, according to Harvard Health. While weeding away in your yard, you can enjoy even MORE health benefits from gardening. Check out the surprising benefits here! >

9. Do a Window Wash

Chores and Exercises during COVID-19

30 minutes of window cleaning chores is thought to burn somewhere around 167 calories in a 155-pound person, says Harvard Health. But getting the grime off the inside and outside of your windows will also make you feel good. Rather than looking at dirty smudges and streaks while you’re social distancing, the sun can shine in and you can enjoy it to its fullest!

10. Scrub that Tub

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If you”;ve got soap scum build-up, it takes some serious power and energy to scrub your tub or shower clean. That hard scrubbing can burn a lot of calories if you”;re working up a good sweat. The more elbow grease power you put in, the more payoff–;both in the form of a clean surface as well as toned muscles! It”;s another win all around.

The Leaf Weight Loss Blog is here to help you stay healthy! Learn more helpful fitness exercises, wellness tips and healthy, easy to make recipes to keep you and your family happy and nourished during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Are you in need of a healthy meal delivery service while you’re stuck at home? We’re here for you! Learn more about Nutrisystem programs >

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The post 10 Household Chores That Seriously Burn Calories appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com