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Physical Therapy in Massapequa

Hiking Safety Tips

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that can also be seen as a form of exercise. Those that love the outdoors and get bored at the gym may find it exciting to venture through the trails of a nearby mountain or forest. Here at Park Physical Therapy, we encourage hiking safety tips to be known so that your trip will be as pleasing and safe as possible. Before you leave, there are several things you should do to prepare for your hike. Mapping your route and carrying a copy with you can help keep you from getting lost once on the path. Also, give one to someone so that they know where you are. You should also give them an estimated time on which you plan to return. The best of all hiking safety tips is to avoid hiking by yourself, especially in unfamiliar areas. Get a hiking partner if at all possible. It is also very important that you are well hydrated before and during your hike. For proper hiking safety, be sure that you pack enough water to last you throughout the day. Hiking is not a dangerous activity if you prepare properly. There are times, however, that you’ll be a long way from “civilization” and you could get injured or have something else happen. To hike safely, the following safety tips from our sports rehab in Massapequa should always be considered.

  1. Bring (and drink) lots of water – Especially during the warm months, each hiker should carry about 1 gallon (4 liters) of water with them per day. Yes, that is 1 gallon per person. Dehydration is a common issue that affects many hikers every day. Therefore, it is important to be aware of how much water you are drinking throughout your hike.
  1. Bring snacks – Your body needs more fuel than normal when it’s working this hard, so pack lots of snacks and eat often. For example, granola bars and trail mix are good options to pack for your hike.
  1. Go 1/3 of how far you think you can go – The unfortunate thing that most of us forget is that going down is the easy part. It’s a common mistake to hike until you get tired and then turn around and head back, only to realize you still have 2/3rds of the journey still to go.
  1. Stretch before your hike – To encourage hiking safety for all, properly stretch your muscles beforehand to prevent any injuries or minimize muscle imbalances from occurring. Some stretches we recommend on doing before a hike include:
    1. Alternating quad stretch. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend one leg so that your foot comes close to your butt and reach your arm behind to hold that foot. To deepen the stretch, pull your foot towards your butt. Repeat on both sides.
    2. Alternating knee lifts. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee up, grab right below your knee and pull your knee up towards your chest. Repeat on both sides.
    3. Torso twist. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend at your waist. Twist your shoulders and reach to touch your foot with the opposite hand. Return to standing and switch to the other side.
  1. Don’t underestimate the climate – It is important to be aware of the climate you are in and to be prepared for it. The climate may be high elevation and very warm; therefore, it is essential to be dressed properly for those conditions. Wear loose fitting and light-colored clothing to allow your body to regulate temperature properly. It is also essential to apply sunscreen of an SPF of 30 or higher on exposed skin to prevent sunburn.

These hiking tips are beneficial to ensure the hike is both pleasurable and safe for the hikers. Our sports rehab in Massapequa can help you become prepared for your next hike or any physical activity through our corrective exercises and stretches. Our exercises and stretches are designed to promote healing and regain strength and/or mobility in any affected area of the body.  For more information on our sports rehab in Massapequa, contact us!

Hiking Safety Tips
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Hiking Safety Tips
Here at Park Physical Therapy, we encourage hiking safety tips to be known so that your trip will be as pleasing and safe as possible.