A Chiropractor's Guide to Hiking
By Brandi Swieter
Hiking is a common warm weather pastime that many people enjoy. One of the problems, however, is that the activity can lead to back pain quickly if people aren’t careful. By following a chiropractor’s guide to hiking, more people can complete the activity with little to no pain at all.
Stretch Before Setting Out
Before setting out on a hike, it’s important for all hikers to stretch. Some back stretches are especially important because they will help to ensure the back is flexible and ready to handle the activity. Stand tall with arms overhead and breathe in deep as the arms reach backward. Breathe out and bend forward with the hands still clasped behind the back to give the back a full stretch. By tugging one arm and then the other, the lower sides of the back will get stretched as well. This move is simple yet highly beneficial.
Carry a Lightweight Backpack
Most hikers carry a backpack to hold their supplies. Those who fill it far too full may have more supplies along with them, but they’ll also end up with a sore back from carrying too much. The best option is to pack lightly and only bring those items that are truly necessary. If multiple people are hiking, disperse the items between each of the packs to ensure even carrying for everyone.
Wear the Right Shoes
No one should head out on a hike in sandals or even tennis shoes. The proper hiking boots are necessary to keep the body stable and secure while on the trip. Shoes without a strong grip on the soles can lead to slips and falls. A strong and sturdy pair of shoes that offer comfort is best when hiking.
Stop for Regular Breaks
It isn’t wise to continue on the trail for hours at a time. Even 30 straight minutes of hiking can take a toll on the body. Be sure to plan out the trip carefully, factoring in regular breaks. It’s best to stop for at least a few minutes every so often to catch a breath, relax the muscles, drink some water, and otherwise take the time to rest before trekking on farther.
Going for a hike can prove to be a fun adventure, but no one wants their adventure to leave them sore and hurting. Following a chiropractor’s guide to safe hiking will ensure people remain pain-free on their hike. Those who do end up feeling aches and soreness can visit The Joint Chiropractic to get some relief.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tucson, Ariz