How you can prepare yourself physically to hike further and with greater safety.
Is there any hiker that has not suffered from physical pain? We know those struggles. Getting home safely and pain free when hiking is vital to a great adventure.
There is a lot you can do in preparation for your adventure and it's important you know what to dobefore the accident happens.
1. PREVENTING A SPRAINED OR TWISTED ANKLE
If you’re hiking on an uneven trail embedded with rocks, slippery surfaces or hidden obstaclesthen a twisted ankle can be hard to avoid if you don't take the right precautions. While mild twists can be remedied by the “walk it off” approach, other serious twists will require more attention if you intend to finish your hike.
To reduce both the likelihood and impact of twisted ankle
Appropriate ankle support (footwear) are highly recommended.
Depending on the arch in your foot you may or may need to accompany this with inner soles or orthotics, a trained Podiatrist can help with this.
If you do twist your ankle to the point of needing to take a break, use your hiking poles for support. Be sure to elevate the injury, put anything cold on it, strap it up or put some compression around it; and take a rest day if you can afford it to let the swelling subside. This is the case for all injuries sustained and just remember RICE.
2. MUSCLE CRAMPING
"I love cramps" especially after a long day of hiking….said NO ONE ever! Cramping is another common hiking byproduct that can be a result of dehydration. Sounds simple enough then to avoid cramping, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. But sometimes you just plain out forget, especially if its particularly cold, it can be hard to remember to drink the proper amount of water.
Stretching before your big hike can help, and if you find yourself succumbing to a nasty cramp, further stretching can alleviate some of the pain.
Consider applying hot and cold temperatures to the cramp if you experience prolonged pain
Refuel with an electrolyte-dense drink. These solutions can often be the band aid solution to get you the rest of the way home.
3.AVOIDING BACK PAIN
Now, this one is a huge problem for many people in their normal day to day life, never mind when hiking. However, if you find that you only experience it after a hike and the most likely culprit is your technique.
Fatigue typically has a direct correlation with poor form and technique. As you hike over time, you tend to slump forward as your body gets more and more tiredwhich puts pressure on your spine and discs.
Adding core stability exercises as part of your day today exercise routine can also have a positive impact on avoiding back pain. If your muscles can provide stability in your lumbopelvic region you will have sufficient strength to combat your adventure without risking back pain.
4. KNEE PAIN
I injured my knee and have recentlyhad knee surgery so this topic particularly close to home for me. If knee pain is a current issue for you, incorporating some knee stability exercises into your exercise routine is imperative.
A good knee brace is also worth considering on hikes you know are going to be challenging. It's important you DON'T use your knee braceduring everyday activities as your muscles will become reliant on it and therefore lose strength and stability.
They alsosupport balance and stability in challenging areas. You can use them to assist your next maneuver over tricky terrain.
'Trekking Poles can really help you keep your posture in a better alignment as you get tired on a long hike. The extra support to spread the load also means you can take some of the weight of your back which can be really helpful as your body tires, giving your lower back a break'.
They have a unique ratio of aluminum to carbon to create the strength needed to support all levels of impact. Please be careful if other brandsor experts state X impact rating as this has not been clinically tested. We have made sure that ours are as safe as possible without adding extra weight.
Our product developer and co-founder Che, has discovered the perfect density of aluminum to carbon so that you simply you can hike further than ever before whilst staying safe and preventing injuries.
For what it’s worth, it’s not just me who thinks the TNH Outdoors Lightweight Trekking pole is one of the single greatest, does-what-it-says-it-will products of all time. Turns out,it’s gained a 4.8 Star rating online - that’s huge!!
As I mentioned at the start, your safety and well being is very important, please remember that you want to prevent as many injuries as possible. I strongly recommend
'not buying poor quality products of any sort, make sure you are prepared with emergency first aid equipment, that you are doing regular exercise tailored to the hike you are going on and building your weaknesses.'