Hiking is a popular and excellent physical activity. During the summer months, people all over the country are heading to different parks and rural areas to hike through nature’s pathways. This recreational activity is mentally and physically beneficial. Not only is it a great way to take time out of your busy schedule to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area, but it is also very good for your physical health.
Hiking strengthens your muscles, bones, and joints, improves your cardio vascular and respiratory systems, and reduces your risk of obesity and disease. On top of all that, the fresh air and movement also helps you sleep better at night.
Schedule an appointment with your Chiropractor before you go on your hiking trip. They can manipulate your spinal column naturally to make sure it is in its proper alignment before you add the extra stress to the lumbar region.
When going for your daily trek, being proactive will ensure that you have an enjoyable, injury free day. These tips will help keep you healthy, safe, and happy while out on your hike.
1. Wear Proper Footwear
The type of shoes you wear when out on your nature walk is very important. The footwear should fit properly, be supportive, durable and be shock absorbent. They should also have a solid grip on the back to help protect you from slips and falls. If you do not have proper foot covers, visit your local athletics store to look for high quality hiking feet gear.
2. Back Supporting Backpack
When going out for your daily excursion, you will want to bring sunscreen, first aid kit, food, water, and other personal belongings. Most people use backpacks to carry their necessities for their trip. Before leaving for your day, make sure you have a pack that fits properly and can be secured around your torso so it distributes the weight properly. Fix the straps to make sure the bag fits adequately so it does not create extra strain or pressure on the back. An ill-fitting sac will cause pain to the spinal column.
3. Stay Hydrated
During your activity, it’s important to stay well hydrated. The body needs plenty of water to work properly. Without adequate fluids, you can become dehydrated very quickly, especially on warm days or when you are extending more energy. Pack lots of water bottles so you have plenty of natural liquid to keep your body functioning properly.
4. Bring Healthy Snacks
When you start to feel hungry, it’s better to keep your body healthy and energized with nutritious foods. Junk foods will add empty calories to your body and increase your risk of getting hurt. Rather than packing your bag with poor quality foods, bring fruits, nuts, trail mix, oatmeal bars, vegetable sticks, and healthy protein or granola bars.
5. Let Others Know Where You Are Going
Every year, people put themselves at serious risk by going on their adventures without telling others where, when, and how long they are going. Before leaving, give your friends or family an itinerary, route map, and expected departure and return times.
6. Don’t Overdo It
It’s easy to go further and longer than our bodies are used to, but that can also increase your risk of getting hurt. Know your limits, listen to your body, and start off slowly, especially if you are not used to the exercise.
7. Dress Properly
Proper clothing is just as important as the footwear. You want to make sure that you are protected from the elements so you do not get too hot or too cold. Wearing layers is the best way to keep warm without overheating. Depending on the type of trail, longer pants and shirt sleeves might be more appropriate than shorts and short sleeved tops.
Wearing a hat is also important. They protect your head and keep the sun off your face and head.
8. Wear Sunscreen
You have probably heard this advice many times for many events. Hiking is no different. If you are outside for any duration of time, you need to protect your skin from the sun. Put sun lotion on before and during your activity.
Hiking is great exercise and a wonderful summer time activity. To make sure you enjoy the maximum benefits of this exciting fitness trek, plan ahead so you stay safe and injury free.