Thinking about hiking as a senior can be an arduous task, but it’s possible. Read the following tips to keep trekking into old age.
How to make Hiking Safe and Enjoyable
To avoid any incidents there are a few things to keep in mind when going for a hike, such as:
Get a Check-up with Your Doctor
Before hiking becomes a common practice make sure to consult with a doctor first. Trekking for long periods can cause extra effort on your lungs and heart. Other things that should be checked are your hemoglobin count and the condition of your knees, hips, and ankles.
If partaking in exercise is new to you, then start by walking for 30 minutes each day on a flat surface and gradually increase the time. Once your body gets adjusted to exertion, start walking on an incline. After exercising stretch your calves, hamstrings, and glute muscles to decrease the chances of a muscle injury.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a diet rich in proteins strengthens the muscles and reduces body fat. Try adding eggs, fish, beans, and chicken to your diet. Fried and junk foods are best to avoid because they lack beneficial nutrients and have unhealthy fats. On your hike carry snacks with you for added energy. Water is extremely important to bring as well. Staying hydrated will lessen the risk of fatigue and muscle cramping.
Walk at your Pace
Before starting any type of exercise it’s important to warm up beforehand. This can be done by a simple stretching routine to warm up the muscles. While on a hike taking shorter strides is easier on the body and helps maintain balance, reducing risk of injury. Maintaining a manageable pace is important for making hiking enjoyable and not overexerting yourself. Most importantly remember to breathe, slow down, and enjoy yourself!
Maintaining good posture is important for good walking technique. While walking up a hill it could be a natural inclination to lean towards the hill, doing so can cause pain by putting stress on the knees and hips. Keeping a straight back will help maintain your balance, if extra help is needed is a trekking pole for extra support.
Watch your Heart
You can take extra precautions for your health by wearing a heart-rate tracker. Walking uphill can increase your heart rate by 10 to 15 percent. If your heart rate reaches over 100 beats per minute take a break. Your heart rate should be back at it’s normal rate before resuming the walk.
Go with Friends or Family
Having people to hike with isn’t only more enjoyable, but it’s a safer option as well. Talking to friends while hiking makes uphill walks seem less challenging. Let the people you’re walking with know of any preexisting health conditions, so they know that signs to look out for.
Most importantly you’re getting outdoors, which is great for the mind and body! Walking in nature is known to reduce blood pressure and ease stress, bringing an overall sense of happiness.
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We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.