Have Fun Hiking

It is that time of year where we find ourselves out and about enjoying the sun and hopefully some movement or exercise. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting exercise.

I’ve put together some tips to keep in mind while hiking that can help prevent sore muscles and back tightness while increasing your efficiency and tolerance:

  1. Always make sure you have enough water to stay hydrated. This can help you feel less fatigued and more energized after a hike.
  2. If taking a backpack with you, use one that has a hip belt. This helps to distribute the weight more on your hips than your back.
  3. Wear comfortable footwear with good support.
  4. Slowly build up your endurance by starting with shorter hikes with lower inclines. Gradually increase distance and incline to challenge yourself.
  5. As you are hiking, try to remember to engage your core by gently tilting your tailbone towards your pubic bone. This will help to decrease strain on your low back and neck.
  6. Using a walking stick is helpful if balance is a concern.
  7. If hiking up a steep incline, take smaller steps to reduce strain on your muscles.
  8. Bring plenty of snacks to re-fuel your energy.
  9. Remember to take breaks if you find yourself out of breath. This can help your outdoor experience be more enjoyable.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your walking pattern, posture or body mechanics, a Physical Therapist can help. The Physical Therapists at Health in Motion Physical Therapy are happy to evaluate you, offer suggestions, and provide treatment if needed. Our goal is to help you optimize your posture and movement patterns.