Why Does Hiking Burn So Many Calories? – A Definitive Guide

Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, but it can also be a great way to burn some extra calories. It is low-impact, so it is easy on the body. But why does hiking calories burn? According to the American Council on Exercise, a 155-pound person can burn anywhere from 210 to 311 calories by hiking for just 30 minutes.

There are several reasons why walking can be a great way to burn calories. Learn more about them below.

Reasons Why Hiking Burns So Many Calories

It’s easy to start borrowing and make it a permanent hobby

Does hiking help you lose weight? One of the reasons hiking burns so many calories is because it’s easy to start exercising and make it a regular hobby. You don’t need any special equipment or clothing, and you can hike anywhere there are trails.

Among the good things about hiking is that you can do it at your own pace. If you want to go fast and burn more calories, you can. Or, if you want to take it slow and enjoy the scenery, you can do that, too. Either way, you’ll be burning calories and getting a great workout.
You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment. All you need is a good pair of hiking shoes, and you’re good to go.

If you’re looking to lose weight or just get in better shape, hiking is a great option. It’s easy to start, and you can make it as challenging as you want.

Smiling men while hiking

A slow rate lets the body burn more fat, helping it burn more calories

When you’re hiking, your body burns more calories per minute than it does when you’re walking at a leisurely pace. That’s because hiking requires more effort and thus, more energy. And where does your body get that energy? From the calories, you’re consuming.

The number of calories you burn while hiking depends on a few factors, including your weight, the intensity of your hike, and the terrain. But on average, a 160-pound person will burn about twice as many calories hiking as they would walking at a moderate pace. So, if you’re looking to up your calorie burn, hiking is a great option.

Involves the whole body and makes it exert more effort

Does hiking burn fat? When you hike, your legs, arms, and core all have to work together to keep you moving forward. This full-body workout means that your body has to use more energy, which results in more calories being burned.

It uses all of your major muscle groups and makes them work harder than they would if you were just walking. This is because hiking often involves going up and down hills, which requires your muscles to work harder to move your body. Additionally, hiking often requires you to carry a backpack, which adds resistance and makes your muscles work even harder.

Boosts metabolism

When you hike, your body has to work harder to pump blood to your muscles and organs, which means your metabolism gets a little boost. That’s because your body needs to burn more calories to fuel your activities. This can help your calories burned during hiking not only during your hike but also for a little while afterward.

Resting While Hiking

Gives greater satisfaction than other sports

Hiking has some unique benefits that other sports don’t offer. For one, hiking gives you a chance to really appreciate the outdoors and all that nature has to offer. This can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction than you might get from other activities.

There are plenty of reasons to love hiking. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, and it’s also an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
Another reason hiking burns so many calories is that it’s a low-impact activity. This means that there’s less stress on your joints and muscles, which allows you to hike for longer periods of time without getting as tired.

Combines both cardio and bodyweight workouts

First, hiking combines both cardio and bodyweight workouts. You are not only burning calories from the cardio, but also from the resistance of your own body weight. That means you’re not only getting your heart rate up, but you’re also working your muscles as you hike.

How to Burn Extra Calories More Effectively During a Hike?

Choose routes with an altitude gain

By hiking uphill, you’ll torch more calories than if you were hiking on flat terrain.
How does this work? Well, it’s simple physics, really. When you hike uphill, your body has to work harder to move you forward. This means that your heart rate will increase and you’ll be burning more calories than if you were strolling along on the level ground.

So, if you’re looking to really up the ante on your next hike, be sure to choose a route with some good elevation gain. You’ll get a great workout and might even be surprised at how much weight you can lose by taking on a few extra hills!

Quicken your pace

When it comes to calorie burning, every little bit counts. And when you’re hiking, there are plenty of opportunities to up the ante and burn even more calories. Here are a few tips on how to hike for maximum calorie burn.

First, pick up the pace. A faster pace will obviously burn more calories than a leisurely stroll. But don’t go too fast – you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

Second, take advantage of uphill sections. These are great for upping the intensity and burning more calories. If you can, try to hike uphill for at least part of your hike.

Finally, don’t forget to use your arms. Swinging your arms while you hike can help you burn even more calories. And it’ll also help you keep your balance.

Use trekking poles

That’s right – by using trekking poles, you can increase the intensity of your hike, which means you’ll end up burning more calories in the process.

Here’s how it works: when you use trekking poles, you’re essentially adding an extra set of legs to your hike. This means that you’ll be able to cover more ground – and more quickly. And the more ground you cover, the more calories you’ll end up burning.

In addition, using trekking poles also helps to tone your upper body. As you swing your arms while hiking, you’re actually working your shoulders, biceps, and triceps. So not only will you be burning more calories, but you’ll also be getting a great workout for your arms and upper body.

So next time you hit the trails, be sure to bring along your trekking poles. You’ll be amazed at how much more effective your hike will be – and how many more calories you’ll end up burning in the process.

Carry a trekking backpack

Carrying a backpack helps to work your upper body and core, while also making your trek more challenging, thus burning more calories.

A recent study found that hikers who carried a backpack burned more calories than those who didn’t. In fact, they burned an average of 8.5% more calories. And the more weight they carried in their backpack, the more calories they burned.

So if you’re looking for a way to boost your calorie-burning while hiking, be sure to pack a backpack with some weight in it. You’ll not only get a great workout but you’ll also be prepared for any adventure that comes your way.

Use ankle and/or wrist weights

By adding a little extra weight to your body, you can actually increase the number of calories you burn while enjoying the great outdoors.

Here’s how it works: the added weight creates resistance as you move, causing your muscles to work harder. This ultimately means you’ll burn more calories in the same amount of time.

So, if you’re looking to up your calorie-burning game, strap on some ankle or wrist weights the next time you hit the trails. Your body will thank you!

Chest Muscles

Hike against the wind

Hiking against the wind is more difficult because you are pushing against more air resistance. This means that you are working harder, which means losing more calories burned while hiking.

In addition, hiking against the wind forces you to use more of your muscles, which also helps to burn more calories. So, if you are looking to burn more calories while hiking, make sure to hike against the wind.

Combine with other physical activities

If you are looking to burn extra calories while hiking, there are many different options available to you. By combining hiking with other physical activities, you can maximize the benefits and see great results.

Try interval training while hiking. This involves alternating between periods of intense hiking and periods of rest.

Add in some jogging or running. Even if you only jog or run for a minute or two at a time, it can really add up and help you burn more calories.

Do some strength training exercises while you hike. This could include things like lunges, squats, or push-ups.

Sitting Girl While Hiking


Hiking vs. Walking: Which Activity Burns More Calories?

A 155-pound person will burn approximately 298 calories by walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same person will burn 372 calories by hiking for the same amount of time. So, hiking does burn more calories than walking.
However, the number of calories burned while hiking or walking depends on a number of factors, including the person’s weight, the intensity of the activity, and the terrain. A person who weighs more will burn more calories than a person who weighs less, and a person who is hiking uphill will burn more calories than a person who is walking on level ground.

How to get going hiking?

Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes that are appropriate for the terrain. Avoid sandals or open-toed shoes, which can leave you vulnerable to injury. And don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!
Bring plenty of water and snacks, and let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. A map and compass can also be helpful, especially if you’re hiking in unfamiliar territory.
Start out on easy trails and work your way up to more challenging ones.

Does hiking help lose weight?

Yes, hiking can help with weight loss. How much weight you lose depends on how often you hike and how long you hike. Generally, the more you hike, the more weight you will lose.


Hiking is a great way to get in shape. It’s also a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some fresh air. In addition to helping you lose weight, hiking has a number of other benefits. It can help to improve your mental health, increase your energy levels, and reduce stress. If you’re looking for a workout that will challenge you physically and mentally, hiking is a great option.

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