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Hiking Self Care:
How To Keep Yourself Strong

Hiking self care is not something I see discussed very much on hiking blogs.

I've often wondered about this.

Is it because hikers are tough and just "suck it up" when something hurts?

  • Example: The expectation is that new boots will cause blisters, and you have to break in the boots by ignoring the pain.

Or is it because nobody in the health care realm teaches how to prevent problems before they start?

  • Case in point: Shin splints give warning signs before flaring into full blown pain. Do you know these warning signs?

Could it be because it's just too time consuming to attend to

After all, there's a waterfall/peak/lake/camp site to bag, and you're burning daylight!

I suppose it doesn't matter what the real reason is about why we don't discuss hiking self care, but it matters a lot to me that you stay out of pain and stay safe on the trail.

That's why I'm focusing my training as a naprapath and a medical massage therapist on this topic, to bring you some easy, do-able suggestions for taking care of your hard working hiking body.

By taking good care of yourself on a hike or backpacking trip, you keep yourself safe and focused.

Time to go shopping for some great self care tips!


Hiking care tips to try

This laundry list of tips won't be useful for every hiker, so just skim through the suggestions and vow to try at least one hiking self care tip after your next hike or snowshoe trip.

These suggestions work for skiers, too, especially cross country folks.

Anti-inflammatory actions

Self care for muscle soreness

Coping with swollen fingers

Swollen feet and ankle strategies

Dealing with back pain

Injury prevention

Nutrition

Hydration

Healthy hiking teas

Foot care

Skin care

Stretching before, during, and after the hike

Attitude and motivation

Keeping yourself safe

Use a hygiene kit

Survival tips

Conditioning and training

Ten essentials are essential for a reason


Heed the message of pain

All of these tips rely upon you to pay attention and be willing to receive, and act on, the messages your body is sending to your brain.

Please don't deny that pain is a message to be heeded.

That "gut feel" that something is wrong is your best friend when you're out on a trail - it's hard wired into your instinct for self preservation.

And not wanting to take the time to re-lace a boot that's rubbing your ankle is saying something a bit unflattering about your trail priorities.

Or about your impatient hiking buddies.

Your feet and legs are your ticket home!

So please make it a priority to take care of yourself, so you can enjoy your outdoor adventures for decades to come.

Just a bit of tough love, from me to you!

SnowshoeingHiking self care is worth it in every season because it extends your mileage and enjoyment.

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