The Benefits of Weighted Hiking
Weighted hiking & Fitness
Is weighted hiking the ultimate blend of the yin of the weight-room and the yang of the outdoors?
Admittedly, I’ve fought the “cardio” angle of fitness due to my preferred training modalities and the scientifically superior benefits of resistance training in all it’s forms.
But I’ve recently had an epiphany about weighted hiking. You see I love to be in the great outdoors. Who doesn’t? Without knowing it, while pursuing the passion of hunting and trout fishing, where I often need to hike in quite a ways to get to the destination oftentimes carrying 20+ pounds of extra weight in gear, I realized……this is weighted hiking!
I’m not sure science will ever be able to truly explain the incredible benefits of being outside in nature and just wondering around and moving our body, but I sure know that it feels awesome when I’m hunting and fishing, so I decided to start doing some weighted hiking with the Kettlebell Backpack. I’m able to use a lighter weight kettlebell on longer hikes or if I just want some active recovery, or I can put in a heavier kettlebell if I want some extra resistance for a shorter hike, or just want a higher intensity workout.
Hiking, as opposed to walking, especially if you’re venturing off the pavement and into the wilderness where there’s hills to climb and uneven surfaces to careen, is more athletic in nature than walking. Hiking is more multi-directional and not just movement in one plane (straight ahead).
It’s likely that while doing weighted hiking, you’ll have to do the following:
- Lunges (multi-directional)
- Step-ups (multi-directional)
- Calf Raises
The more athletic qualities (strength, balance, multi-planar movement, work capacity, just to name a few) a human can enhance or maintain across their lifespan, the higher functioning human they will remain.
In short, I guess the lesson is to take something incredibly beneficial, like strength training, and merge it with another thing that’s incredibly beneficial, like hiking in the outdoors, and merge the two for multiplied benefit!
So whether you consider it a ruck or a weighted hike, just get outside and build your athleticism, and if you just so happen to have a kettlebell with you, just imagine all the outdoor workout capabilities you now have at your disposal 😉