In terms of outdoor sports, hiking is probably the crowd favorite. An all-round winner, it’s fun, engaging, and most importantly, therapeutic! Here are some of the greatest benefits and compelling reasons on why you should kickstart your hiking journey today.
Why should everyone try hiking regularly?
It builds bone density
This might come as a surprise, but bone is not an inactive tissue. It’s in a continuous and dynamic state of constant bone formation and bone breakdown. But here’s the deal, you reach your peak bone mass around the age of 30. After that, the dynamic equilibrium of bone formation and bone resorption skews a little, such that there is greater net bone resorption than formation. This leads to senile brittle bones that can easily fracture – a condition known as osteoporosis.
And while this may seem gloomy, there are certain factors that can increase peak bone mass during the early developmental years (i.e., before the age of 30) and minimize bone loss after peak bone mass has been achieved. One of the most pivotal of these is adequate levels of vitamin D. The best way to maintain an optimum level of vitamin D is daily exposure to the sun, and what better way than to go hiking during the day?
Moreover, weight-bearing exercise is a very important deciding factor for peak bone mass. And while everyone doesn’t have the privilege to hit the gym, an excellent exercise using your own body weight is climbing stairs/ hills/ slopes. You exert pressure on your legs, which strengthens your muscles, builds bone and strengthens tendons.
Hiking improves sleep quality
Hiking helps reset your sleep-wake cycle, and your circadian rhythms are also regulated by hiking. Not only do you get a healthy-tired effect which helps you hit the hay easier, but if you delve into the science of sleeping, you’d know that the hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles is called melatonin. Sleep cycle is perturbed by our unhealthy indoor lifestyles and sedentary lifestyle. However, a properly planned hike ending at sunset will regulate your melatonin production, resetting your sleep cycle and improving the quality of sleep you get.
Boost happiness and combat depression
Any sort of exercise helps battle depression, but in particular, hiking is an experience that is not too difficult to pick up. You can also boost your serotonin levels with a scenic view, lifting your mood as you unwind from the day’s activities. Hiking can also be physical challenging should you choose a more challenging course or route, but when you finally reach your destination, your brain releases dopamine as a felicitation of completing an arduous task. The same phenomenon in runners is known as the “runner’s high”, which is a brief moment of intense euphoria from the same hormone. Lastly, exercise itself, regardless of the category, helps to release endorphins that make us feel ecstatic.
Hiking helps to enhance your respiratory and cardiovascular health
Breathing in clean, fresh air goes a long way for your health. You must take regular days for your personal health and “me-time”. Hiking increases your hemoglobin levels and rejuvenates your lungs to the point that you can observe a marked difference in the number of stairs that you can climb without running short of breath, making sports like hiking a wonder treatment for asthmatics and sufferers of respiratory issues.
Moreover, climbing is a very strenuous job; it burns a lot of calories, reducing your lipid (especially cholesterol) levels. This marks a landslide difference in the prevalence and incidence of ischemic events, such as stroke, cerebrovascular accidents, angina, heart attacks and peripheral vascular disease. Strenuous exercises are beneficial in more ways than just this; physical activities that increase cardiac output lead to the thickening of the heart, strengthening it, thereby reducing the chances of heart failure in old age.
Other health benefits of hiking
Hiking improves your circulation and fends off stress which is why it is excellent for enhancing your cognition so that you’re at maximal brainpower all the time. Hiking in the clean, fresh air, blessed with abundant atmospheric antioxidants, minimizes the risk of contracting several cancers that you’re predisposed to while breathing the pollutedair in the city side.
There are several non-health benefits of hiking as well
Hiking takes in a lot of teamwork, garnishes your leadership and communication skills, and builds trust. Hiking also helps take off the steam because you’re always in your element, you’re not putting up a façade, and neither are you obligated to be unnecessarily polite all the time. Hiking is great for bonding, an adventurous concept for a date, and is an amazing remedy for ameliorating severed relationships. Hiking helps you appreciate the natural beauty that is surrounding us amidst life in the concrete jungle. Moreover, you can improve your navigation skills as you get better oriented to time and space.
Best places to hike in Singapore
While it is an irrefutable fact that the entire city of Singapore is breathtakingly picturesque, nothing beats the beauty of nature. They are all so breathtakingly beautiful that narrowing down the single best place to hike in Singapore is really a difficult and debatable task. In terms of number of destinations, you’ll never run out of options where to hike in Singapore.
Here are some of the greatest destinations and the best hiking trails in Singapore that you can choose for exploring and connecting with nature; The Southern Ridges, Jurong Lake Gardens, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Fort Canning Park, Clementi Forest, Keppel Hill Reservoir, Thomson Nature Park, Rail Corridor, MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, Pulau Ubin, Kranji Marshes, Bukit Batok Nature Park, Coast-to-Coast Trai, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoir Park, Mount Faber Park, Changi East Boardwalk, Coney Island Park, Chestnut Nature Park, Windsor Nature Park, and Dairy Farm Nature Park.
The do’s and don’ts of hiking
Treading uncharted territory has quirks and perks of its own, but with every adventure, staying wary of the potential hazards and devising strategies around them is a must. Here’s a quick guide on how to conduct yourself on a hike; Avoid going on solo adventures if you have never been to the place before; take some company along and make sure you notify multiple people about your whereabouts and plans. Research the hiking area of the trail and religiously stick to the trail. Make sure to pack ample food and water, charged cell phones and GPS devices, and carry the requisite gear and safety pack with you. Do not disturb animals and do not draw too much attention to yourself by blaring loud music or wearing bright clothes. Most importantly, do not litter or damage the natural habitat.
The North Face – a premium athleisure store
Started in 1968, The North Face is an American outdoor recreational products company which features footwear, clothing, sporting gear and related equipment to facilitate hikers, climbers and more. The North Face SG got its name from the fact that in the northern hemisphere, the north-facing route is considered to be the most formidable, coldest and slipperiest route, making it a deadly and cumbersome feat to tread this pathway and thus reflects the foundation of the company – the dedication to go to the extreme, and facilitated the explorers and mountaineers to reach their dreams.
The North Face SG has many product categories such as Jackets & Vests, Tops, Footwear, Bags & accessories, etc. Moreover, The North Face conveniently categorizes merchandise according to each sporting activity so that you can find all the relevant gear and accessories with a single click. So, you can shop for a Hike, Climb, Trail & run Camping, Training, or Snow related sporting activities.
You can head to the Hike area on the website, where you will find the best hiking shoes in Singapore, The North Face waterproof shoes, The North Face Jackets, bags, trousers, brimmers and much more.
Shop at The North Face and pay with Atome!
Headquartered in Singapore with over 15,000 partnered merchants and available in 10 markets, Atome offers its users the choice and convenience of flexible payment options for a variety of products and services. The app allows shoppers to split their purchases over three interest-free monthly payments by scanning a partner retailer’s in-store QR code or upon website checkout. By splitting their payments, Atome users will be able to better manage their budget while making quality products and services more reachable.
If you want to know how Atome works, just click on the link and find out! It doesn’t just stop there. Atome offers a $10 voucher when you shop for the first time! So, why wait any longer? Get the app now! It’s available on Android as well as iOS.
How to pay using Atome?
- First up, select all the items you wish to shop for. Add them to your cart and proceed to the checkout;
- Choose Atome as your payment option.
- After that, you have to sign into your Atome account. Don’t have one? No worries at all; You can create one completely free of charge.
- A third of the total bill is to be paid upfront at checkout, while the remaining amount will be split across two months.