Hiking Your Way to Fitness

November 12, 2013

in Health

I am so excited to welcome Quinn to the blog today! I have to admit that I’m not very good about going outside with my workouts. However, all it takes is a quick trip to Healthy Living by Quinn and you just might want to venture out and try things you never have before, like hiking!

hiking for fitness

Hiking can be a great alternative to the gym, a way to combine the best of working out with expanding one’s personal vision and vistas. Now that fall is upon us, and the leaves are spectacularly changing, it’s a great time to think about replacing old workout regimes with new ones like adding some new activity to your day or week. Hiking, even just at a local park, can be a great bonding time with your family. My husband and I take our two boys out with us all the time!

In terms of things to bring, it’s important to remember that certain items are essential to making the trip worthwhile and meaningful. I’ve found the following essentials are important to any hike you are about to make…

Storing Your Gear

The main component to any hike is a backpack to store your gear. Make sure this pack is comfortable even with the slightest bit of weight. You’ll also want to make sure that it has the proper pockets and storage space to bring the items for your intended hike.

Personal note: For an adventurous hike out in the wilderness you’ll want to be equipped with a large pack with several storage compartments, but while on a picnic at the park you may want something more casual like this picnic pack that my parents gave my husband and I as an anniversary gift a few years ago. We use it on every trip!

Food

High energy foods that are practical will help to fuel the experience, so trail mix, usually high in protein as well as high-energy foods like chocolate, will add warmth and energy to keep you going. In terms of water, it might be best to carry iodine tablets instead of the requisite gallon per day as the weight can be overly tedious. Iodine tablets are an economical and lightweight way to make your water supply suitable for drinking, which especially comes in handy for longer trips.

Find the Light

While you may not be heading out overnight, it’s important to remember to pack a flashlight or headlamp, which can help if you are out after dark in the fall. Tree canopies and cloud cover can make for a dark adventure and as winter approaches there are fewer hours of daylight to work with. Be sure to check the batteries and even pack an extra set just in case.

Protect Your Skin

Sunscreen is less of a necessity this time of year, but it makes sense if you’re planning to hike on a warm fall day, when you may wish to strip down to short sleeves. UV rays are still able to pass through the clouds. This can cause an unexpected burn – better to be safe than sorry!

Bring a Guide

Every pack should probably have a compass in it in the event that you actually lose track of trail markings or bearings. Even the most experienced hikers get lost from time to time. Again, make sure you check the compass before taking off. If available, it’s also a great idea to bring a map to plot out your journey. And if you get lost, it will be a very helpful tool to get you back on track.

Prevention is Key

A small first-aid kit makes sense, with antibacterial cream and Band-Aids. A few simple precautions can help to dress small cuts so as to avert infection in the event of a small slip. It’s also important to include some other essentials that will be helpful in case of an accident, such as a twisted ankle, where it would be good to have some medical tape to get it wrapped up for some extra support to continue your hike.

Mother Nature can be Unpredictable

An extra pair of non-cotton dry clothes and socks are essential to keep from being chilled in the event that you work up a light sweat. Being fall, mother nature can tend to be temperamental. Staying dry is essential to staying warm and comfortable throughout your trip. I’ve found that using merino wool as a base layer works wonders when staying dry on hikes. It’s also very important to wear other protective layers made of materials such as polyester and nylon. Cotton must be avoided as it absorbs perspiration and does not dry quickly.

Hiking is a great way to switch up your daily workout routines at the gym or pounding pavement. What’s better than going out and enjoying the scenery while getting a great exercise in? In my eyes, there isn’t anything better.

Quinn McAdams

Quinn is a self-proclaimed health enthusiast. She loves trying new workouts and eating healthy. She also enjoys going running, playing soccer and going hiking with her family.

 

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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