While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, more and more people are being vaccinated and restrictions are gradually being lifted. After spending too much time inactive and What better way to exercise your body and enjoy the outdoors than going for a hike indoors? Hiking is the ideal antidote to a global pandemic in many ways as it can heal both body and soul.
Enjoy the benefits of a hike
- Like power walking, hiking provides moderate intensity cardio workout provided your route includes some hills or inclines. Trekking on uneven surfaces will strain your core muscles and improve your balance.
- Hiking is also a mood booster. Research shows that staying in green spaces such as nature trails and wooded areas can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It doesn’t matter if you hike alone or with others.
- The CDC also suggests that people keep social distance when engaging in outdoor activities, including hiking, as it is not known who is fully vaccinated. You should also wear a mask around people who are not in your household or in your personal pod.
- Many local, state, and national parks are still closed or have restricted access. However, some trails may be open in your area or will reopen soon. (Check out these websites for the status of local hiking trails in your area: National Park Service, American Trails, and American Hiking Society.)
Ready to go hiking?
Make sure you are well prepared before you lace up your hiking boots. After all, it’s probably been a while since you were in the world. Here are some tips.
Work on your walking. If your walking stamina requires some work, begin a regular walking program in your neighborhood. Walk 10 to 20 minutes every day and wear a pedometer to keep yourself motivated.
Safety first. If you can’t hike with someone, share with a friend or family member where you will hike and for how long. Bring your cell phone and a local map if necessary.
Apply sunscreen. Even if you mostly hike in the shade, you can still get sunburned. Always wear sunscreens with at least 30 SPF that block both types of ultraviolet rays – UVA and UVB – and a lip balm with sunscreen. Apply about 20 minutes before the hike and then reapply every two hours.
Protect from ticks. Ticks are common in the United States and can spread serious diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks are common in wooded, bushy, or grassy areas. If possible, wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants. Use an insect repellent that is effective against ticks on exposed skin, clothing, and hiking gear. Do a thorough tick check after hiking. Do you know what to do if you find a tick on your body – and what signs may indicate that you have been bitten by a tick, such as: B. rash or flulike symptoms. Contact your doctor immediately for advice and appropriate treatment.
Drink enough. Drink water before, during, and after your hike. Watch your thirst (if you are thirsty, you are likely already dehydrated.) Set a timer on your phone or sports watch to remind you to drink regularly.
Watch the weather. If you are unsure about the prediction, wear layers to add or remove depending on the temperature. Carry a rolled up windbreaker, rain jacket, or poncho in a backpack.
Support you. Invest in hiking or walking shoes with good ankle support. Wear calf-length socks to protect your legs. Hiking with walking sticks can help you navigate difficult terrain and support your knees.