Hiking VS Walking: What You Need to Know

Most people want to get exercise. Chances are, if you are reading this article, you like to be in the outdoors and stay fit. But, sometimes doing the same workout routine can get boring and you want to consider different options.

One way to slightly change your routine is to consider the difference between hiking and walking. However, most people will wonder, are there any differences between the two? What are the benefits of each?

By fully understanding the differences and benefits of each type of exercise, you can change up your workout routine and still stay fit.

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What Exactly is Walking?

Yes, this may seem like an obvious topic to cover, but we need to make sure our understanding of both hiking and walking are aligned before moving forward.

Hopefully, people understand that walking involves putting one of your feet in front of the other. But, some people might not know that it is considered a type of exercise. Yes, even when you walk to the fridge to get that last piece of cake.

Research shows that walking in not only physically beneficial to us, but also mentally. A short 30-45 minute walk a day can help you fight sickness, depression, and increase your self-esteem.

One last distinction to make is that there is a difference between walking and running. Running has its benefits as well, but only walking will be considered in this article. You can read about if from here

Benefits of Walking

In addition to the above benefits, walking can increase your life expectancy. Taking this into consideration, since we all want to live longer, we should consider walking more places. Apart from this, walking will also help you reduce the chances of contracting diabetes, anxiety, coronary diseases, and helps you burn calories.

Lastly, people who walk (think New York city) tend to save money on gas and car expenses such as car insurance.

What Exactly is Hiking?

Hiking is similar to walking in that you are moving your legs and going places. However, the distinction is that hiking is when you are walking through a natural scenery or on a mountain. Hiking mostly takes place in mountainous or hilly areas –forests, mountains, and reserved parks. It’s more difficult than walking and might require to using more effort and energy, depending on the terrain

As a hiker, you will need special equipment to help you be more comfortable and well prepared for you adventures. Hikers dress according to the occasion, which depends on the terrain and the climate of the area.

If you are interested in learning more about what to bring in order to be prepared during a hike, visit this link. what you need for a day hike here

Benefits of Hiking

One of the greatest advantages hiking has is the breathtaking view and natural scenery that you get to take in. This will happen mostly if you are hiking through mountainous areas, forest, or reserved parks. However, there are incredible parks around cities that provide great views.

Hiking will also give you health benefits such as, losing weight and reducing your anxiety by keeping you calm. In this way, it is very similar to walking. However, research has shown that being in nature and around plants has additional health benefits for you that walking cannot provide.

What are the Differences Between Hiking and Walking?

Now that we’ve gone through the two activities, what are the differences between the two? Although hiking involves walking, there is a difference between the two.

As a hiker, you will be moving through set paths in natural areas such as, mountains, hills, or even reserved parks. Walking, on the other hand, will involve moving through surfaces such as taking a walk on the beach, concrete, gravel, or from one room to the other.

Since hiking will take place in places such as mountains, the pace you use might be different. The pace of your strides will depend on the elevation, slant, and terrain that you are on. Walking is simpler since the movement is constant the entire way and you will most likely not face too much of an incline.

The last difference between the two is the equipment. As a hiker, you will need items such as boots that keep your feet warm and non-spillage soles. In walking, you need shoes that cushion your feet in their movement.

According to Celine’s article here, both activities are fun, but hiking is the ultimate experience you need, especially if you are the adventurous type with a knack for some adrenaline, a good time with friends, and enjoying mother nature.


Both hiking and walking have their pros and cons. Hiking will require more of your energy than when you are walking, but you will be able to enjoy great views. On the other hand, walking can be done around your house or in a city.

Now that you understand the differences, branch out and try the type that you normally don’t do. It will give you a different angle on your exercise and could introduce to your new favorite way of working out.

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Justin Archer
Hi, I'm Justin Archer a family man with 2 boys and a wife. I'm an outdoorsman who loves hunting, fishing, hiking and lots of other outdoor activities. I love testing new outdoor gear, learning new things and passing on the knowledge I have gained. Feel free to contact me anytime - justin@outdoorveteran.com

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