Warm weather is enticing. Allow it to coax you from your gym, your home, and your stagnant routines. Instead of a dedication to the exercise machines, try a new approach. Get outdoors!
Hiking enables you to enjoy the vast blue skies, clean air, and the earth beneath your feet. You might like to embrace what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. This practice involves mindfully immersing yourself in nature − the advantages are wide-ranging and may surprise you. You may experience lowered pain, reduced blood pressure, less stress, and a happier mood. Of course, hiking is also a great way to keep fit, improve and maintain your physical stamina.
Like any physical activity, it helps to plan and prepare. Consider your current fitness level and start with a sensible distance; a route that's shorter than you would normally walk. Investigate the terrain. If your fitness is low, choose a flatter landscape and build up over time. Check on the weather and opt for a clear day. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return; and take ways to get help if necessary.
Make sure you have appropriate first aid, footwear, clothing (plus warm, weatherproof extra layers), and sustenance. Staying hydrated is essential; as a guide, allow 250ml of water per half hour. Take more if the day is warm or the trail is difficult.
Over time, you'll learn what you need. If your hike will be several hours, take a healthy lunch and snacks: nuts, seeds, and fruit are good options to munch on as you walk.
The best way to transport your supplies is in a day backpack. You shouldn't need anything larger than 30 litres. Find a pack that suits the length of your torso and sits comfortably. To wear it correctly, use both shoulder and waist straps, and chest straps if available. Keep the back panel close to your spine. Pack as lightly as possible while staying prepared.
Before you set out, limber up your body. Stretch your calves, hamstrings, quads, back, shoulders, arms, and neck. Ask us for advice if you’re unsure how to stretch correctly, or how to pack and wear your backpack. Then, enjoy!
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.