Hiking is a great exercise for your body. The activity combines walking with low- and high-intensity cardio activities, allowing the body to burn calories at a faster rate. It is also an extremely enjoyable way to exercise, especially since you have beautiful views and unique spots to visit along the trail.
Similar to other exercises, hiking also poses some health risks when done improperly. You have to understand how to protect your body and the best way to prepare for the hike in order to stay safe at all times. Here are some of the best tips to help protect your body when hiking.
Footwear and Backpack
The two gears you need the most for hiking is a good pair of shoes and a comfortable backpack. The shoes you wear on a hiking trip is essential. Walking on an uneven surface, conquering challenging terrains, scaling cliffs, and even jumping from rock to rock put serious stress on your feet.
Most hikers go for hiking or trail running shoes with thicker soles. The thicker soles can indeed protect your feet from the elements; you won’t have to worry about sharp rocks or other hazards. These hiking shoes also come with a high-top design in most cases, adding extra protection to the ankles.
The backpack you carry is just as important. You want a backpack that can distribute the weight on your back evenly. You also want one with sufficient padding so that you don’t get tired after a few minutes of carrying your camera gears and other supplies.
Indreviews.com has a great list of top backpacks that will make your hiking trips more enjoyable. Find one that suits your specific needs – based on the gears and supplies you want to carry – and you can protect your back and shoulders better.
You should treat hiking the same way most runners treat marathons. You want to consume enough carbohydrate and protein so that the body has sufficient calories to burn. It is best to do a bit of carb-loading the night before the hike for maximum impact.
Don’t forget to hydrate as frequently as possible too, both before the hike and during the actual adventure. Carry enough water with you and make sure you keep your body hydrated to ensure a healthy metabolism and to minimize the risks of injuries.
Planning the Hike
The last thing to remember if you want to protect your body when hiking is to plan the hike carefully. Most trails, especially popular ones, are accessible. You can find maps with details such as emergency stations. Take the time to study the hiking trail before the trip.
You need to be able to get help when you do get injured during the hike. In most cases, getting medical assistance reduces the risk of permanent injuries by up to 90%. It is also a good idea to have sufficient first-aid supplies with you whenever you go hiking.
Complete these preparations, and you will not have to worry about injuring yourself during the hike. When you do get injured, you can minimize the impact of that injury and recover from it sooner than you think.