Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Preparing for an Autumn Hike

Fall is always my favorite time of year. The leaves are turning colors, the air is crisp and the weather is still nice enough to enjoy some last minute outdoor activities before the first signs of winter arrive.

Hiking is a very popular activity all year round, and especially during the fall months. Because it is a physical activity and can be strenuous, depending on the terrain, it is important that you prepare for hiking as you would for any other exercise routine.

  • Stretch and warm-up before you begin. As always, both are important to preparing your muscles and preventing injuries during physical work.
  • Hydrate! Bring water with you during a hike and drink, drink, drink. Staying hydrated will keep your body cool and lubricate your joints.
  • Choose your hike carefully. Research various peak, terrains and trails until you find one that suits your ability level. Hiking a trail that is too steep or too strenuous for you can lead to injury.
  • Don't over pack. Only bring the essential on your hike and remember to wear both straps if you are carrying a back pack. Unevenly distributed weight, or a load that is too heavy can cause you to loose your balance or even lead to back pain and injury.
  • Wear the proper attire. Wearing shoes that are the correct size and that are designed for hiking can save your feet from aches, pains and blisters. Also, the weather in the fall can be unpredictable, so bring extra layers of clothing.
Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while being physically active, too. But remember to consult your physician or Empire Health and Wellness Center (518-690-4406) before you begin a new type of exercise regimen, even hiking.

Also, for more information, visit Adirondack Sports and Fitness!

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