For those who don’t enjoy exercising, hiking can be an excellent alternative to burn calories without high-impact movements. Hiking allows you to get your heart rate going, take in beautiful natural scenery, and breathe fresh air, all at your own pace. If you don’t like being trapped inside a gym or workout studio, a regular hike can be just as effective as any cardio routine.
Almost anyone can go on a hike. As long as you have access to an open trail, a good pair of shoes, and comfortable outerwear, you can set out on a hike anytime. If you feel the outdoors beckoning, here are a few tips to get you started:
Find some good hiking shoes
The right hiking footwear can determine how long or short your hiking adventure will be. Your feet will bear the brunt of the task, so make sure you get a pair of sensible, high-quality boots. You can choose from synthetic or leather materials, depending on your budget. You can also get a pair with added insulation for the hikes in extra cold weather during fall and winter.
Be sure to wear them in before stepping out. Even the best hiking shoes will be rigid and unforgiving when they are brand new, so try to break them in for a few days prior to your hike. You can wear them around the house, on a grocery run, or do a few laps around the neighborhood to soften up.
Wear appropriate clothing
Your clothing should also be appropriate for the hike. Don’t wear denim or other thick materials, since these can weigh you down during the trek. Hiking clothes should be soft, light, and breathable. Avoid loose clothing that can get caught on branches and shrubs. If you plan to go up the mountains on an early morning hike, you might want to take along an insulated down jacket that’s light and foldable.
Pick a good trail
Before you set out on a walk, look for established hiking trails in your area. St. Louis has hundreds of miles of hiking trails across the city, for novice and expert hiking enthusiasts. Research a good beginner trail to get you started and find a friend to come along with you.
Bring some nourishment
Your hike can be as long or as short as you like. For however long you decide to go out, bring a flask of water with you. Even an hour’s walk can dehydrate you, so be sure to make stops along the way to quench your thirst every twenty minutes. If you plan to stay longer, be sure to bring small snacks or a packed lunch, because there probably won’t be a restaurant hidden away in the mountains.
Pack away your phone
Hiking isn’t the same as taking a stroll. You should focus on the trail ahead of you to avoid any accidents. Hiding your digital distractions can also help you mentally relax and meditate while you walk. Looking at your phone will take time away from appreciating your surroundings. Keep your phone in your hiking backpack, and don’t look at it until you need it for emergencies.
Hiking can be a great way to get your body moving and your blood pumping while enjoying the outdoors. You don’t need a lot of complicated preparation to start. Put on the right attire, invite a partner, and you’re ready for a hike. Be sure to keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your first hike.
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