Does Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Speed Up Metabolism?
- The Science of Metabolism
- Does Kilimanjaro Speed Up Metabolism?
- Researching the Benefits of Kilimanjaro
- Key Takeaways
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an incredible achievement, and a surefire way to add an impressive notch to your travel belt. If you’re looking to fit in some extra cardio, it’s likely you’ve considered taking on one of the world’s most iconic peaks. But, does ascending the 19,341-foot summit of Kilimanjaro really have any impact on metabolism?
In this article, we’ll be exploring the science behind metabolism and its relationship with the most popular mountain in Tanzania. We’ll take a look at the long-term and the short-term benefits of mountain-dwelling, and discuss what research says when it comes to achieving optimal metabolic health. Read on to further understand the incredible potential of Kilimanjaro for boosting your current metabolic rate.
The Science of Metabolism
Metabolism is the rate at which your body processes energy and nutrients from the food you eat. It’s a natural process which powers all the activities your body needs to carry out, including those which form part of the body’s fight or flight response. In essence, your metabolism is a building block of health and essential for life.
The rate of metabolism is different for everyone, and is based on a mix of genetic and environmental factors. Generally, those who move more have a higher basal metabolic rate, meaning they burn more calories naturally per day, and vice versa. Common lifestyle factors which influence metabolism include age, sex, dietary choices, and physical activity.
Does Kilimanjaro Speed Up Metabolism?
Short answer: yes – but only in the short-term. This is because ascending Mount Kilimanjaro requires cardiovascular endurance. You’ll be walking, sometimes for 10 hours or more at a time, and it requires sustained energy expenditure. Yes, it’s demanding and challenging, but the intensive hikes associated with the mountaineering experience can often cause an immediate spike in your metabolism.
Studies researching the physical effects of climbing Kilimanjaro explain that the total energy expenditure while ascending the mountain is fairly consistent. This is responsible for short-term metabolic improvements such asEnhanced energy levels Improved sleep qualityIncreased memory and focus
Although these long-term benefits are scientifically backed-up, unfortunately, they are short-term. While the body needs replenishment post-climbing, any metabolic benefits from the descent are unlikely to last without maintenance through activity and nutrition.
Researching the Benefits of Kilimanjaro
Taking on Kilimanjaro is excellent for boosting your metabolism temporarily, but there are further benefits outside of the physical exertion. Research also shows that spending time in nature leads to improved mental wellbeing, and can even reduce cortisol levels- the body’s main stress hormone. Studies have also suggested that participating in outdoor physical activity is incredibly beneficial for psychological well-being, as the activity can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
By having an active experience in the outdoors, you can achieve a healthy balance of physiological arousal and calm. This promise of vulnerability and revival allows you to re-connect with yourself, as well as the environment. And while being outdoors can help with focus and productivity, we know it can also boost your overall mood.
Whether it’s the stunning views of the African bush, witnessing the daily life of the natives, or simply feeling small and insignificant compared to the mountain’s mass, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can bring both physical and mental benefits.
Q: Does mountaineering on Kilimanjaro benefit physical health?
A: Yes, studies show that physical activity in the outdoors can increase fitness and improve overall physical health. As with any physical activity, however, it’s important to build up stamina and conditioning before any big hikes.
Q: How quickly will I reap the benefits of Kilimanjaro?
A: You can expect to feel the physical and mental benefits of Kilimanjaro short-term. Your energy levels, sleep quality, and mental wellbeing can improve almost immediately after ascending the mountain. This, however, requires maintenance through activity and nutrition.
Q: What is the best way to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro?
A: Although the ascent is physically intensive, it’s essential to spend time properly conditioning your body for the mountain. This includes strength and balance exercises, hill walking, running, and cardiovascular exercise. Preparing your body for the big day with exercises such as cycling, stair- climber, jogging and hill walking is essential.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a fantastic way to increase your metabolic rate, temporarily. While the physical challenges of the mountaineering experience can cause an immediate spike in your metabolism, it’s important to spend time properly preparing for the climb.
The scenery of Kilimanjaro can also offer mental benefits, as studies show that time spent in the outdoors can also reduce cortisol levels, improve mental wellbeing, and reduce subjects of stress and depression.
Ascending Kilimanjaro is an incredible physical and mental experience. Between the physical challenge of the climb and the majestic views, there’s no shortage of ways that mountaineering benefits your overall health.
In addition to giving your body a physical boost, research has shown that spending time in nature is in integral part of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Climbing a mountain such as Kilimanjaro is the perfect way to achieve a balance between physical challenge, mental re-connection, and beautiful environment.
So, if you’re looking for an adventure that offers lasting physical and mental benefits, Kilimanjaro may be the answer you’ve been looking for. With preparation and an experienced guide, it’s a challenger that can provide incredible rewards.