Getting out in the fresh air - in the great outdoors - is good for you and helps promote a healthy lifestyle. Walking and hiking can be done simply anywhere; obviously it's ideal to hike in beautiful surroundings and areas of natural beauty. Taking a leisurely stroll and getting exercise through walking in the outdoors is something that we can all benefit from. Mountain Warehouse has a wide range of hiking and walking clothing, and outdoor equipment to get you started. Mountain Warehouse has a vast range of outdoor essentials and hiking and walking accessories to get you started in this great pastime. You can improve your health at the same time too! What to Wear… Depending on the Weather! Depending on what time of year you'll be hiking; you will definitely need to think about the weather and, consequently, the items of clothing that you should be wearing. Regardless of the season - even if the weather is dry - there is still often a chilly breeze in vast open spaces, so we would recommend wearing a 3 in 1 jacket. Our Storm or Trail 3 in 1 jackets form the perfect outdoor jackets for use all year round. The detachable fleece is useful for walks and hikes during the warmer months, whilst the fleece and the waterproof jacket will provide you with warmth and suitable protection from the elements. You should often be prepared for adverse weather conditions when hiking; if walking in the hills or mountains, the weather can turn bad pretty quickly, so it definitely pays to be well equipped with waterproofs and other outdoor clothing and accessorises you may benefit from when hiking. Mountain Warehouse have a wide range of Outdoor gear for men, women and children to enable them to get the best out of their walking or hiking trip, whilst remaining warm and comfortable at all times. Are there Differences between Hiking & Walking? There are very few differences between walking and hiking; some might say the pace would be different, whilst others would suggest that the location that you choose to walk to or hike in determines the activity that you are taking up. When describing a hike, people may think of blisters, heavy duty boots and the like. In fact, it could be all of these things. You will often be in spectacular mountainous areas or widely recognised areas of natural beauty. Walking & Hiking - Simple Forms of Activity Walking is the simplest form of exercise and should not be underestimated! Be it a leisurely stroll in the park, walking the dog or even serious hiking and rambling, you can be sure that you will benefit from this simple and easy pastime. All exercise is good exercise, and walking is a regular activity that we can all do to help maintain good health and shape. Walking won't necessarily get you as fit as an Olympian or help you lose loads of weight - dependent on how intense you go about your walking and hiking! To really benefit from walking and hiking, you will need to increase your heart rate. This of course depends on the speed and the incline that you will be walking at. Health Benefits from Walking When you exercise, as well as hugely benefiting your health and lifestyle, you feel good about yourself. When you increase your heart rate and maintain it for a period of time, you release calming brain chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are released during strenuous exercise or when the body exerts itself during physical activity. The endorphins allow humans to feel a sense of power and control, enabling them to continue with exercise and physical activity for an extended time. Walking & Hiking Intensity Levels People from all ages can benefit from the health rewards of walking and hiking. To improve your overall fitness through walking and hiking, you need to raise your heart rate. As a rule of thumb, your pulse rate should beat around 20 times faster when you exercise than when you are calm. When improving your overall fitness through walking and hiking, you should look to walk faster and taker longer strides. Adding hills and inclines to your regime will see a more dramatic change in your fitness levels too. If you choose walking to increase your fitness levels, you need to be sure to push yourself that little bit harder — only you can be in charge of that. Walking and hiking are great pastimes that can be enjoyed by those of all ages and levels of fitness. Walking and hiking helps to reduce blood pressure, maintain weight, decrease cholesterol, as well as improving mental health, preventing ageing of the immune system and promoting overall well being. Hiking and walking is also said to improve arthritis by strengthening leg muscles, and, after a period of time, forms healthy habits for a healthy life.