The importance of healthy hiking: what a vast topic!
Healthy means you're able to meet the challenges and demands of life.
Hiker health means
you not only are able to tackle a trail, but are eager to do so! And you're reaping the multiple health benefits of hiking.
But here's the reality:
As a hiker, your quest for healthy hiking has one universal theme:
Having the tips, techniques and tools to keep you going on the trail.
Luckily, you've stumbled upon a treasure trove of healthy hiking tips.
This page will help you navigate to the topics of interest.
Tip: Bookmark it. Because inevitably you'll be moving between camps as a hiker: the healthy, and the striving to be healthy, hiker.
Which of these two camps are you in right now?
This question refers to a conscious,
daily investment of energy into building good habits around the 4
aspects of being a strong and confident hiker:
Are you surprised to hear that what you do in your daily life impacts your trail time? It does!
Here are all of the details about how to stay healthy as a hiker, from four different perspectives.
Now on to the health issues that plague hikers.
On any hiking trail, you put your joints and skeletal muscles through a work out, and inevitably there will be some inflammation, soreness and pain.
This doesn't necessarily lead to injury, but taking good care of yourself is a great injury prevention hiking habit.
If you're not stretching before and after a hike, please consider stretches as an important prevention strategy.
Too late for prevention, as in OUCH?!!
Use these tips on how to deal with common hiking issues:
For even more hiking self care tips, read this.
It's possible that you are getting post-hike clues that your body is not happy with what's on your feet and your back.
Commit your time and money to the best hiking gear for your style of hiking.
Sad to say, but the reality is that trial and error is what it takes to get the best hiking gear for your hiking style.
Use these tips to dial in the perfect skill set for hitting the trail:
If you are on a two or three hour day hike, you don't need to pay attention to carrying food with you, except for the wisdom of the Ten Essentials (includes "carry extra food at all times").
Everyone else on a hiking trail?
Your hiking food matters! A lot!
Get started exploring the wonderful world of tasty, nutritious hiking food here.
The fact that you're eager to go into areas that are not conquered or civilized (the mountains, the woods, and anywhere in between) means that you trust yourself and your hiking companions.
And that you've discovered that hiking heals.
But it's important to acknowledge and deal with things that you might want to bury in the back of your mind:
If you want to explore the idea of solo hiking and the fears it may bring up, read this.
People of all ages hit the trail, and hopefully you will continue to hike into your golden years.
But we all face specific challenges at various times.
Recognize yourself in any of these questions?
Are you stressed out? Completely in over your head with work, kids, significant others, school, and other relentless responsibilities?
Are you raising the next generation of hikers, and want to teach them
tricks and tips for strong hiking bodies?
Or are you past the child rearing years, and as an older hiker, interested in some tips to keep you on the trail for many more seasons?
Regardless of your age, hiking makes you happier along with the obvious cardiovascular and strength benefits.
Just getting started as a healthy hiker?
Try new nutritious hiking foods on your next adventure. Give your taste buds AND your feet something new to explore!
Pay attention to your hygiene.
Keep a trail journal or hiking log, noting what makes you feel fantastic. Also keep track of which types of trails challenge you, and which of the 4 perspectives (see above) are involved. What will you do with that information?
Switch up your hiking pace so your heart rate is variable and your exertion level is appropriate to the terrain. This reaps huge health benefits as a hiker.
Don't think that you'll get your gear and clothing combinations right on the first try. It will take lots of mileage before you sort out what works for you, and what doesn't. These tips will help.
Regardless of your motivation for seeking information about hiking health, you've come to the right place.
hiker with five decades of trail time, I've been through a lot of
physical and mental challenges. In fact, I've had to give up my
hiking plans at times in order to deal with them.
These tips are based on actual experience, solid scientific facts, and reliable resources:
And let's not forget my motivation for this website: as a weekly hiker, I'm highly motivated to figure out what's going on with my own body when I get signs of inflammation, muscle strains, or just new aches & pains.
Trail time is my nirvana!
So why am I sharing it all right here?
Because I can't help myself!
The way I see it, once you've lived on the planet at least 60 years, it's time to give back to the human hiking community.
Which explains why I wrote a book of dayhiking tips that can be used by anyone interested in getting the most out of hiking.
And why I offer the following...
Use the green box below to send them to me.
I'm not a medical doctor, so don't expect medical advice about medications or treatments.
Instead, expect an empathetic ear and some trail tested strategies and tips to try.
Looking forward to "meeting" you!
Oh, and one more thing: I'd like to hear from other hikers willing to share their unique insights into healthy hiking.
So if you have some tips for healthier hiking, send them my way using the green box, or use the CONTACT link at the top left of this page.
Thanks for sharing! It makes all of us better, healthier hikers.
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