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Fortunately, hiking-related injuries aren’t usually all that serious. Blisters, sore knees and aches and pains are the most common and are all easily avoided with a little preparation and care…
Stretch It Out
As with any form of exercise, warm up and warm down is crucial in avoiding sprains and pulled muscles. Make sure you stretch properly before you begin your walk and start slowly, increasing the pace gradually – especially if you’re new to exercise. Gentle stretching exercises for a few minutes after your walk will help to keep your blood flowing and ice packs can keep any inflammation to a minimum, lowering the chances of post-walk pain.
Best Foot Forward
Properly fitting outdoor philadelphia phillies hawaiian shirt and hiking boots are a must for avoiding painful blisters. Make sure that the fit is perfect before you attempt any long hikes, remembering that your feet will temporarily swell during the exercise so bear this in mind when selecting your size. Learn and use the correct heel to toe method of walking and basic techniques for walking up and down hills. The correct walking style will reduce the impact of walking on your joints, leading to fewer aches and pains.
Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
While it is admirable to set yourself challenging goals, it’s important not to overexert yourself. Stick within your limits and if you are feeling unwell or in pain, stop. If you’re a beginner avoid difficult hikes until your fitness levels have built up a little and increase the pace and distance of your hikes slowly over time – little and often is key.
Food For Thought
Hiking related illnesses are often down to poor nutrition and a failure to keep hydrated. Keep a good supply of water or sports drinks with you and sip them regularly. Pack carbohydrate-filled foods such as nuts, dried fruit or bananas into your bag to keep energy levels up and avoid exhaustion. Eating a good supply of carbohydrates and protein after your walk can also help to keep fatigue at bay, leaving you feeling revitalised and ready for your next challenge.
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