As the weather cools down here in Arizona, more and more people are taking to the trails for a hike. To avoid injury and keep yourself on the trails, follow these simple tips for happy, healthy trailblazing!
6 Essential Hiking Tips
- Warm-up: Hiking can vary vastly in difficulty, but uneven terrain means that no hike is a walk in the park. It is important to warm up before taking to the trail. Do some stretches and loosen up before heading out.
- Pick the right shoes: Choose a pair of hiking boots that fit your fitness level and your needs. A rugged sole to prevent slipping, ankle coverage to help with stability, and adequate arch support are all important in preventing injury when on the trail.
- Start slow: Make sure to take enough time for your hike so as not to rush. It may take a little while to get into the rhythm of hiking on uneven terrain.
- Carry a stick: A walking stick can be very helpful in tough hiking terrain. They add stability and balance as well as making for a point of contact that lets you read the immediate terrain before your feet get there.
- Stay alert: It should go without saying, but hiking is a very involved physical activity. Although the beauty of nature may surround you, be sure to watch your step. Take a break and step to the side of the trail to take photographs or just take it all in.
- Don’t ignore your pain: Pain, in this case, is most certainly not gain. In fact, it is a signal being sent to your brain that something is not right. If you begin to feel pain during your hike, do not just ignore it and soldier on. Very often this can lead to exacerbating the injury, even when it is relatively minor.
Follow these tips for a fun, safe hike!
In pain? The licensed physical therapists at Foothills Sports Medicine are always looking for ways to help the community. We offer Rapid Recovery® Injury Assessments for any person concerned they have an injury and are curious if physical therapy should be used during treatment. An assessment consists of a short examination with a therapist where he or she will examine your injury and determine if physical therapy may be the treatment option for you.
Make an appointment today for your physical therapy consultation! To learn more about different physical therapy techniques and what our certified Physical therapists can do for you check out the Foothills blog