10 Benefits of Hiking in the Morning

Benefits of Hiking in the Morning

There’s a mountain of evidence that hiking is beneficial to our health. It is a great way to raise your heart rate and get your body moving. On the physical level, there are numerous advantages. 

Hiking even a short distance can lower your risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and prevent type II diabetes. It is also a great way to build muscle mass and stamina.

However, hiking, specifically in the morning, also has plenty of benefits.

What are the Benefits of Hiking in the Morning?

It may not be easy to get up so early for a hike, but it will help you get more done in the day. In addition, a rush of adrenaline and other feel-good hormones are released as a result of an early morning hike, preparing you for the day ahead. Hiking in the morning has several advantages, including the following.

You’ll be More Active Throughout the Day

There is some belief that exercising in the morning is more beneficial than other times of the day, and hiking in the morning is an example of this. Getting out for a hike first thing in the morning can help you stay on track with your fitness goals by eliminating the possibility of being too busy to work out later. 

Hiking in the morning can also boost your energy levels for the rest of the day. An increase in oxygen and nutrients in your body can help you feel more energized after a workout. 

Get More of a Workout in for the Day

You have a better chance of getting more of a workout in if you start your day hiking in the morning. You’ll have more energy for other physical activities later in the day because of your morning hike.

The fact that hiking is such a pleasurable experience may lead some people to disregard it as a form of exercise, preferring instead to engage in more strenuous activities like lifting weights later in the day. 

Furthermore, because you’re starting so early in the morning, you don’t have to rush to finish your hike. So rather than cutting your workout short, you’d feel like you have more time because it is still so early. 

Morning Hikes May Help Cutting Back Calories

If you’re having trouble controlling your appetite, you could try going on a hike and getting some exercise in first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that people who worked out early in the morning showed some changes in their brain activity regarding food. 

In addition, the morning exercise helped to reduce their desire for food in general. So, if you’re trying to lose weight and cut back on calories but finding it difficult, consider going for a morning hike.

Better Night’s Sleep

If you have trouble falling asleep in the evening, you might consider going on a hike early in the morning. Morning exercise outside improves sleep rhythms and signals the body to produce the hormone melatonin earlier in the evening. 

It helps wake up the brain in the same way that exposure to bright light early in the morning does, and it causes the body to release melatonin earlier in the evening. As a result, exercising in the morning helps you sleep better at night. In addition, it will also help you sleep earlier if you have difficulty sleeping early.

More Alone Time on the Trail

Empty Hiking Trail in the Morning
Allow yourself time to grow comfortable with being alone when hiking.

Any hiker who has encountered a congested trail before understands how aggravating the experience can be. Hiking is best when you can enjoy nature with as few people as possible on the trails. When hiking in the morning, you can expect to have a lot of time to yourself to enjoy nature and slow down.

Make the Most of your Time

Another advantage of hiking in the morning is that you don’t feel rushed to finish your hike. For example, if you’re on a hike and come across a trail you’ve never tried before, you’ll have plenty of time to hike the new trail because you’ll be out early in the morning.

On the other hand, if you went hiking later in the day instead and found a trail you want to explore, you may feel compelled to leave because it is getting late. 

Also, if you hike later in the day, there is a greater chance that you will not be able to complete your trail or will have to cut your hike short because the park is closing for the day and you are no longer permitted to be there. Therefore, going to the park earlier maximizes your time there.

You’ll Avoid the Heat

Hiking early in the morning is a good idea if you live where the temperature rises quickly. Hiking in hot weather can be dangerous because of the risk of dehydration, which can lead to heatstroke.

However, even if it’s colder outside, the cold won’t bother you too much if you go hiking early in the morning. 

Your body heats up as you walk and move around. So you won’t even notice the cold anymore after a few minutes. However, if you get a late start and go on a hike when it’s already warm, expect to get sweatier and warmer.

The Morning Sunrise!

Sunrise from top of Stone Mountain
View of the sunrise from the top of Stone Mountain in Georgia.

Early morning hikes offer some of the most rewarding and picturesque scenery.

Early morning hikers are rewarded with breathtaking views of the rising sun and the satisfaction of a job well done. Moments like this, when time seems to stand still, are rare.

Finding Parking is Easier

Most hikers have encountered traffic or the inability to park when visiting popular locations. The parking lot at the trail closest to our house fills up by 7:30AM every morning. If you’re not there by then, good luck finding a parking spot.

When this happens, it’s especially frustrating if you’ve been looking forward to a hiking trip. 

One advantage of hiking first thing in the morning is that parking is extremely easy to come by. In addition, getting in and out of the park is simple and fast.

Better Concentration

You can improve your mental focus by engaging in physical activity. You’ll notice a big difference in your ability to focus and concentrate after a morning workout. One study has found that exercising first thing in the morning improves attention and decision-making abilities and overall health.

Ryan H

I love hiking and being outdoors with Jen and our two rescue dogs, Chompers and Mia. I also enjoy a good weekend trail run. I'm also really enjoying sharing some of the knowledge we've learned along the way here on Zenful Hiking!

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