is hiking a sport? everything you need to know in 2022

is hiking a sport

Hiking involves physical exertion and is most of the time considered to be a sport. But, to make it clear to you, is hiking a sport or just a recreational activity? I have done the complete research, and I’m happy to share it with you. 

The simple answer to this question is No. Hiking or trekking is not a sport. Necessarily, a sporting activity is a task that entails physical exertion and skill throughout which a specific individual or a team contends against others for the enjoyment of spectators. Moreover, hiking usually has no competition factor. 

is hiking considered a sport?

The long answer gets a bit much more complicated. While most exercises fall into the black-and-white categories of sports vs non-sports, hiking is just one of the few that remains in the grey areas.

The truth doesn’t aid this that the word ‘sporting activities’ has differing interpretations. Determining a precise interpretation and determining whether trekking is a sporting activity or not has boiled down to individual opinion. Let’s discuss further what makes an activity a sport.


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What makes an activity a sport?

Three main factors are to be considered for an activity to be called a sport. 

  • Physical Exertion
  • Skill
  • Competition

Hiking covers the first two factors to be considered a sport but lacks the third criterion: competition. Let’s discuss how these criteria would work for hiking.  

Physical Exertion

The majority of sporting activities entail a great deal of physical exertion. Sports call for peak muscle stamina so you can run faster and throw farther. Trekking needs solid muscular tissues so you can climb up high mountains and also maintain your equilibrium on rough terrains. You need to have a comfortable pair of hiking shoes while trekking. So it’s a task including physical exertion.

Trekking commonly requires even more physical exertion and skill since you should plan for different trails that might be steeper or rockier than usual. To know about how to protect your toes while hiking downhill see our complete guide.

Hiking can be challenging

Some hiking trails are challenging, so you must be in excellent shape to ensure you can reach completion and return to the beginning point. You can look into the distance and severity of a path online before you set out. Also, you can record trails on your watch. Check out the best budget watches before you hit the trails.

Trekking clubs may deserve consideration if you plan on dominating the most challenging trails. Talking with other people provides friendship as well as comradeship. However, it likewise supplies the safety and security that comes with numbers.

Skill learning and training 

You need to have muscle toughness and a shared sense of balance before you start hiking. You can begin by walking your area, then stepping up by increasing the distance of these strolls and pushing yourself to walk faster.

If you have accessibility to it, experienced walkers advise running and strolling in the sand. It develops your knee and ankle muscular tissues, so you’re better safeguarded from injury on the route. Any exercise that reinforces your core can also help you while hiking.

Hiking is a high cardio exercise that is also good for your cardiovascular muscles. Anything that increases your lung ability will aid you in obtaining enough air in nature. You’ll be able to take longer walks without really feeling diminished. The more you plan to trek, the extra you need to train.


While taking part in an event organized by the hiking community. There can be some aspects of competition. As you have other participants to compete with. Also, You can try to beat the logged times if you’re trekking a widely known trail, like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s just a document you’re attempting to beat; you’re not competing against other hikers in real-time.

Hiking is a sport

To consider hiking a sport, the hikers take participation in competitive hiking events. Because of the competition factor, it becomes a sport.

Competitive Hiking 

There are certain events in which people take part in competitive hiking. The event is organized in a manner that the winner gets a reward. The events help and encourage new hikers and trekkers. Also, this builds a community for hikers. In this case, you can say that competitive hiking is a sport. The factor of competition gets involved in competitive hiking. But typically, hiking is a recreational and non-competitive activity. To know more about different types of hiking and trekking, check out the complete guide. 

Taking up hiking as a hobby

Hiking can be a social activity. As you will get to see a lot of hikers on the trail. People with the same interests can connect easily. Also, the benefits of hiking include a healthy lifestyle. Nature lovers are very much attracted to hiking or trekking. Because hiking will connect you to nature and will make your observation stronger.

Is hiking athletic?

Hiking as we discussed above is not a sport. However, professional athletes can additionally participate in competitive hiking. The component of competition makes it a much more severe venture. They’re always functioning to ensure they keep their physical fitness level. There’s an option to compete on your own by timing your hikes, but it’s not necessary. Hiking is just a fun pastime that keeps you energetic and healthy.

I would love to know your views about whether “is hiking a sport?”. Moreover, you can share your experiences in the comment section below.