The sun is out, the days are longer, and we don’t know about you but we want to get outside! One of our favorite ways to get fresh air and get our hearts pumping is to go on a hike. But if you’re new to the trails, hiking can be a little scary to take up, but we’re here with some helpful tips to get you started and keep you safe!
(image via: istock)
But first, the benefits.
- Hiking can lower your risk of heart disease.
- Hiking can boost your bone density since it’s a weight-bearing exercise.
- It strengthens your core, improves your balance, and can help you control your weight.
- A HUGE bonus? Hiking can (and will) boost your mood! Research tells us that hiking can combat stress and anxiety, and that’s really the only reason we need if we’re being honest.
If you’re new to hiking, the very best tip we have for you: start small. Do your research and find a trail that isn’t too long, doesn’t have any cliffs, and is all-around just enjoyable. There is no shame in any hiking game if the trail is paved and don’t you forget it!
Check the weather. Duh, a no-brainer, but while surprise summer storms are enjoyable from the comfort of your own home, they are not enjoyable when you’re out on the trails.
Before you head out on your first hike, and any hike thereafter, make sure you pack navigation tools, plenty of water, extra snacks, rain protection, a first aid kit, a multi-purpose tool, sun protection, toiletries, and bug spray. You know the basics.
(image via: istock)
Another tip that goes for first-time hikers and hiking experts alike, always let someone know where you’re hiking and what time you expect to be finished hiking. But also don’t forget to let them know when you’ve finished your hike and that you’re safe and sound to avoid any unnecessary search parties.
Make sure that you’re wearing shoes that are hiking appropriate and that they’ve already been broken in. Few things are worse than learning that your new hiking shoes are actually super uncomfortable. If you’re concerned about the amount of cushion, or lack thereof, never hesitate to double down on socks. Thick ones at that.
A couple of hours before you head out on your hike, eat a healthy meal rich in protein. Your body will thank you. And nothing is better than a post-hike meal, so make that one a good one!