Working out on a treadmill is pretty convenient, but it lacks the fun and adventure. Especially if you’re a nature-loving, free-spirited type of a person or even a regular human being, facing the same wall every day or being bounded indoors could take away the whole enjoyment of working-out itself. Hence why Hiking has become one of the healthiest, most preferred workout practices in the world. It helps your body, soothes your mind and also who doesn’t love adventure?
Let’s admit it, hiking reminds us of hippie backpacker tourists up on the mountains. Well, it’s not always that. You could be a hiker in your own area or neighbourhood and still go hiking and love every second of it. Here are some easy hiking tips for beginners.
Decide a time and place
The most crucial element for beginners is deciding the time and place. Sticking to a familiar place is ideal as you’re most comfortable and can be yourself around the area. This could be a famous hiking trail, a park around your neighbourhood or a nearby valley. It’s just a little-advanced version of jogging. Decide a time, make sure you don’t make it too long or hectic and keep it simple.
Take a water bottle. Stay hydrated
Water is life. Remember to carry a bottle of water with you when you go hiking. Keeping yourself hydrated is important. Carrying even several bottles won’t do harm, but make sure the backpack you carry isn’t too loaded or otherwise it’d be difficult for your back by the end of the hike. And it’s better to avoid one-time use plastic bottles if you do remember not to litter the place with them.
Pack few snacks
This is to be on the safe side. If you feel weak or hungry while at your hiking journey, having some snacks in hand would keep you from starving. However, make sure the snacks you take won’t put up more calories on you than the amount that the workout burns. Nuts like Almonds and cashews are rich in protein and would be ideal to pack up as a healthy snack.
Try going with a friend than solo
Going jogging? Go alone. Going on a Hike? Try to partner up with a buddy or two. This is to be on the safer side, while you’re on a hiking trail your phone would probably lose signals if in case you needed help. So going with a friend than solo would be a better option.
This doesn’t mean wearing a full suit and dressing up. Stick to something casual and comfortable. It depends on the climate and area as well. During cold days you could wear comfy pants (NOT jeans) and a sweater. If the climate is tropical, you could stick to less-weighing clothes, however, it’s recommended to wear clothes that reveal less skin, for your own protection from allergies, bites and bruises.
Decide your capacity
Knowing your energy capacity is very important if you’re a newbie to Hiking. Be smart on deciding how long you’re going to walk on the trail. Experts would usually hike for 8 hours or so but as a beginner, it’s recommended to start off with baby steps.
Wear comfortable shoes
Hiking lesson 101 – Never wear brand new shoes for a hiking adventure. New shoes could leave bruises until they get used to one’s feet. Pick a casual comfortable shoe like a sneaker which you’ve worn several times before. But make sure it’s not about to tear off leaving you ‘sole-less’ in the trails.
Be aware of the weather
Weather plays an important role in Hiking. Especially if you’ve picked a rather remote trail off your usual tracks, it’s safer to avoid rainy days and slippery trails. Plan your hiking trips when the weather is much settled and avoid the scorching sun if possible.
Pack a mini first-aid kit
Safety comes first, and having a mini first-aid kit with you is crucial. This would include a few plasters, a bandage, a hand sanitizer, a disinfectant for bug bites and some painkillers in case of an emergency.
Let few people know where you are
Regardless of going with a buddy or going solo, it’s always better to let somebody know that you’re out on the trails and you’d be back around a specific time. Make sure to keep some additional time when you communicate it to the person so if you arrive a little late than your expected time, it’d still be alright.
Try out a new trail
It’s good to be inquisitive, to know what lies beyond the valley, to discover places you’ve never been to. Start off simple, plan out big. Together with your buddies, list down all the places and trails you’d want to discover by foot and plan your hiking expedition as a team – which is easier than doing it by yourself.
Enjoy every moment of the Hike
In the end, the best part of Hiking is enjoying the views and sceneries you come across. Be it a mountain hike or just a stroll in the park, remember to enjoy the moment. Take your phone with you, capture beautiful views – if you’re a professional photographer you’d be doing this already – and save it for later or even you could upload on social media.
Next time when you think about working out, consider hiking. Call a friend or two who’ll be up for some adventure and go on a little expedition. Not only does it help your physique but also your mind, especially for those who have stressful work days, a little adventure wouldn’t hurt. So don’t hesitate on taking a hike up the mountains, a remote trail or even the neighbourhood (if you live in an urbanized city with less time for leisure), the experience is still worth it.