Besides being a great way to be closer to nature and soak in the beautiful landscape, hiking is actually a really great way to stay fit.
Depending on the route you take, you can end up burning a lot of calories – and better yet, it’s actually fun!
Propelling your body both forwards, as well as upwards, using your legs, your core, your back, and your general aerobic system, makes it practically a full-body workout.
Everyone is made differently, so the number of calories you’ll burn will largely depend on your fitness level, weight, fat percentage, as well as how quickly you hike.
Not only that, but the trail itself, and even factors like temperature, can make a difference to this.
In this guide, we’ll give you the know-how so you can work out how many calories you are burning per hour hiking!
Factors That Affect Calories Burned Hiking
The heavier you are the more your legs and body will need to work in order to get you through the route.
So, the number of calories you burn will vary largely dependent on your weight. The heavier the weight, the more you work, the more calories burned.
Someone who’s 150 pounds might burn 300-400 calories per hour of hiking, whilst someone over 300 pounds might burn 500-600, or even more!
Besides body weight, there are a few other things that can make a difference too:
1. Your Fitness Level
As strange as it may sound, fitter and more active people will find it harder to burn calories than those with low fitness levels.
This is because fit people’s bodies have adapted to their needs and usage, meaning they’ll already have more muscle mass and less fat, and therefore less on them to burn off.
2. How Much Weight You Are Carrying with You
Besides the weight of your own body, the weight of your hiking backpack will make a difference too, as it’s more weight that your body has to burn.
If you want to burn more calories, put more things in your pack or bring a weighted pack on hikes that you don’t usually bring a pack for.
This will force your body to work harder, and therefore burn more calories. You can burn hundreds of more calories per hour if you carry enough weight with you!
3. Your Hiking Intensity
It’s not just about how far you hike, but also how fast. Someone doing the same hike twice as quickly won’t burn twice the calories, but they will definitely burn more calories, as they’ve forced their body to produce a more intense work rate.
So, if you’re hoping to burn more calories, consider keeping the same route but just doing it faster instead.
4. Hiking in the Mountains vs Hiking in Flat Trails
Although you may prefer the more tame, leisurely hikes, if you’re looking to put your body through a more intense workout in order to burn more calories, more mountainous and challenging terrain is the best option.
Any hike will burn calories, but by putting yourself through a harder route, with rocks to climb and inclines to navigate, this will force your body to work harder and burn more.
Even walking on uneven ground, or having to balance on a sloped surface, forces different muscles in your body to move and increases your work rate and intensity.
So instead of the easy, flat ones, consider a terrain that’s more of a challenge!
Why You Should Know How Many Calories You’re Burning Hiking?
Having a general idea of the number of calories you burn hiking is useful, purely because it gives you an indication of how much food you should be prepared to bring, in order to give your body back the calories.
Failure to take in enough calories will leave you feeling lethargic and lacking in energy.
Although the most important thing about hiking is making it a fun experience, testing your fitness performance and giving yourself a physical challenge can also be a way to make it more rewarding.
It’s a great way of staying fit, burning off the extra fat you might not want, and ensuring that you stay healthy.
So, after reading this, hopefully, you’ll have a clear idea of how many calories you can burn per hour hiking!