Hitting the Trails Safely
By Donna Stark
So many people love to hike. It's a great way to get an all-over body workout and to take in all of the beauty that nature has to offer. But hiking is a lot more than those sights, smells, and sounds you encounter or a way to switch up your fitness routine. It can be pretty extreme at times. So before you head out for those trails, take a hint from the Scouts and get yourself prepared! Because it doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, the duration, terrain, and level of difficulty needs to be considered!
Hiking offers a number of benefits to both your physical and mental health, and is the perfect way to get a workout in outdoors, but you need to make sure that you are fully prepared for your hike before you even step foot on the trail. Here are some tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Research the location and the different trails offered to determine the exact distance you will be hiking
- Make sure you have a complete understanding of any weather you may be facing
- Make sure the hike's level of difficulty is appropriate for you and for those hiking with you
- Know the terrain and the abilities of those on the hike
- Wear the appropriate clothing and footwear
- Avoid dehydration by bringing plenty of water or sports drinks for those longer hikes
- Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages before a long hike
- Reduce the risk of getting lost by utilizing a trail map, compass, or a GPS
Just in Case
Excluding the physical injuries that can occur on the trail, the most dangerous aspect of hiking is the risk of dehydration. Obviously, you can avoid this by bringing plenty of water, but many people underestimate the amount that is needed. The amount of water needed can vary depending on the season and climate, so it would be wise to ask ahead of time before you plan the day. Dehydration can be a serious threat to your health and is especially so when you are miles away from help, so be sure to make it a priority and pay attention to the signals that your body is giving you.
Hit Those Trails
There is no better way to explore nature's beauty and exercise with loved ones than to grab your gear and head out for a hike. Just remember to put everyone's safety first! Check the weather, make sure you know the trails, have a backup plan for emergencies, and drink plenty of water before, during, and after your day on the trails. Now get going! And enjoy the day ahead of you!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colo.