Whether you are a hiking beginner or have done every possible hike from here to the Grand Canyon . . . twice, injuries on the trail can occur. I have five simple steps for safer, injury free hiking. Some of these tips are obvious, some not so much, but we at Camelback Sports Therapy want to make sure you are on top of your game so you can get to the top of that peak.
Prepare your body for the rigors of the trail. A strong core helps keep your body stable and not put extra strain on other muscles and joints. Add these 3 simple core exercises to strengthen your core. The rocky terrain of many hikes can make it difficult to stay upright and keep your balance, watch this video for some tips on how to improve your balance.
Altitude, heat, and strenuous activity can impact your body greatly, and you need to make sure that your body is properly fueled. The longer and more difficult the hike, the more fuel you are going to need. This means eating and drinking healthy foods and drinks before, during, and after the hike. Stay hydrated NO MATTER WHAT. I have found myself thinking, “Oh, it’s a cool day, I don’t need that much water,” and then find myself drained and cramping. Don’t be like me.
You may not feel sore or tight, but your muscles are not ready to go. Do some dynamic stretching to get your muscles warmed-up and loose, and prep yourself for the adventure you’re about to embark on.
I don’t have much to say here. It’s more of a reminder for me next time I hike.
Often times the gear worn on a hike is only for the aesthetic, and I understand that, I like to look good too, but make sure you’re cool new stuff serves you well. So many variables come into play when figuring out what to wear. How hot is it? How cold will it get? Is it going to rain? What is the terrain like? Who am I trying to impress?
It’s best to be cautious. Pack an extra shirt or jacket. Wear layers if it’s going to be cold (You can always peel layers off). Make sure your boots are durable, have good traction, and go above your ankles for extra support to help prevent ankle injuries. Types of boots range greatly so make sure you find the right pair for you and your level of hiking.
Even with all of these amazing tips, injuries still may occur. If you are out on the trail and an injury occurs, don’t push it too hard. Stop, assess the situation, and decide whether or not you can go on. Once you’re back at the camp or on your comfy couch, keep the injury elevated, ice it (10 minutes at a time) and give us a call at 602-808-8989 or email us at email@example.com for a free injury assessment.