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Friday, February 3, 2012

Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Climb

Hiking. It seems to be the exercise everyone is doing now a day. So why not try it? Hiking is a great source of exercise and gets you out of the stuffy, crowded gym and into the beauty of nature. Hiking for an hour can burn up to 500 calories. No matter where you may choose to hike it is always important to follow these important steps.

#1 Know Where You Are Going
Even though you may think you are familiar with the area and are certain of the trail, being out in the open with little landmarks or signs may become confusing and you do not want to get lost. Bring a friend for that extra security and map out your trail exactly. You also may want to bring a compass and a map with you so that you and your partner do not get lost.

#2 Bring lots of water and snacks
Even if the weather is not hot, bring more water than you think you might need.  You do not want to become dehydrated while on a hike. This can lead to severe damage to your physical and mental state. It is always a smart idea to bring a snack. If going on a short hike back a granola or protein bar.

#3 Protect Yourself
Yes, we already told you to protect yourself with a hiking stick or pepper spray but we also mean to protect your body. Wear the appropriate clothes and shoes and bring sunscreen to protect your skin. Being outdoors for a long time especially in warm conditions can cause you to sunburn and if not protected correctly can lead to fatigue.

#4 Be Aware of Plants and Wildlife
Always be aware and alert of your surroundings. Look out for snakes, poisonous spiders, poisonous plants and wild animals. It is best to have some sort of defense while going on a hike such as a hiking stick or pepper spray just in case. Remember, you are entering into their territory and may be unwelcome.

#5 Pace Yourself
Know your strengths and limits. Do not overexert yourself. Remember, you are out in the wilderness and help can be far. Take breaks as often as you need to and replenish yourself with water or a snack. Also, pay attention to the sun. If you have been hiking for a while and the sun starts to go down turn around immediately and head back. You do not want to be out there when it gets dark.

Follow these simple safety rules and get outdoors and don’t be afraid to take the climb! Not only is hiking a great way to exercise but it can also improve your mental and emotional state by being out in the sun with fresh air, not to mention increase your blood circulation. Stay healthy and improve your well-being


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