How to Get Into Hiking
By Sara Butler
There are literally hundreds of thousands of miles of hiking trails throughout the United States. You can find everything from challenging terrain to flat, easy routes that can allow you to take a laidback jaunt through a beautiful landscape. Hiking trails is fun and it's great exercise, plus being outside has been shown to be good for your wellness.
Some people may not understand what they need in order to start hiking or even how to get into it. Here are some easy tips to help you catch the hiking bug, from the equipment you may need to the expectations you have so that you can take advantage of the hiking trails that are surely close by.
Get Some Good Shoes
If you want to start hiking, then the first thing you need to do is make sure you have the right hiking shoes -- you shouldn't use any old shoes. That's because hiking shoes are made especially for the activity and offer the right type of protection and support you need on the varied surfaces hiking presents.
Work on Your Ankle Strength
Hikers often suffer from twisted ankles, so the best thing you can do to reduce the chance of it happening to you is to learn to find a good stride. Trail shoes that have proper ankle support, as well as a shortened stride, can help you to have more control over foot placement as you hike. Throw in some ankle exercises such as calf raises and heel walks and you've got a recipe for ankle strength to help you keep going.
Plan Your Route
When you go out on a hike, make sure to tell someone where you're going. Trail markings aren't always the easiest to follow and some may not exist at all in more secluded places, so make sure to check out with someone ahead of time and then back in when you return. Take your phone with you, too.
You shouldn't focus on the pace when hiking at first. Instead, focus on the terrain and elevation changes to ensure you have proper footing. Don't focus on how long the trail takes, know that you're putting out maximum effort to make it an exercise worth doing.
Hiking is a lot of fun, so give it a try. You never know, it could be the perfect fit to improve your health and wellness.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Asheville, N.C.