Fall is in the Air: Get Your Hiking Boots
By Virginia Laird
There is nothing quite like the changing of leaves, crisp air, and cool evenings to bring out the excitement of fall. The beautiful changes in nature and crisp weather has many planning to enjoy the outdoors. Taking a long hike is among the favorite activities families enjoy during this time of year. However, carrying all the much needed supplies on a hike can wreak havoc on the back. Here are a few things to remember when planning your upcoming hiking adventure:
- Choose a good backpack
- Only carry the necessities
- Stretch out before hitting the trail
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Take breaks often
Choose a Good Backpack
Investing in a good backpack can help prevent back pain, allowing you to enjoy the views of nature along the way. Chiropractors suggest making sure the backpack fits correctly to help keep back pain away. A good backpack for hiking should meet the following criteria:
- Be lightweight
- Have two padded adjustable shoulder straps at least two inches wide
- Have a waist strap to help even out the load
Carry Only the Necessities
Chiropractors recommend packing only the necessities to help keep the backpack light to prevent pain. If your backpack seems too heavy, reevaluate your pack and try leaving some items behind.
Stretch Out Before Hitting the Trail
Like any other exercise session, it is important to stretch out before getting started. Chiropractors suggest anyone embarking on a long walk, exercise, or strenuous activity, should make it a habit to stretch the muscles to avoid injury.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Chiropractors suggest wearing a good pair of comfortable shoes when hitting the hiking trail. Purchasing a new pair of shoes for the occasion may sound like a great idea. However, it is paramount to wear shoes that have been broken in because they offer support for the back and comfort for the feet. I know a lot of people who skimp on shoes and they have no idea what it’s like to have really good footwear and the advantages it provides.
Take Breaks Often
Another suggestion chiropractors offer is to take breaks often while hiking. This allows any tension in the back, caused from carrying the backpack or walking for a long period of time, to be released. It also serves as a reminder to hydrate, and has the added bonus of providing time to take in the beauty of nature.
For those who suffer with back pain, don’t let that discourage you from planning your hike. Just make sure to stop by The Joint Chiropractic to discuss pain management and get an adjustment if necessary; it will help you be in the best shape possible for your hike. Now get out there and enjoy those beautiful views.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.