Getting out into nature is a great way to get exercise, lower your stress levels, and get your daily dose of vitamin D! If you are considering going hiking this autumn to see the leaves near you or just to explore your area before it gets colder here are some things to keep in mind before hitting the trail.
- Calculate the time it will take you to hike the trail both to the end and back. The average person travels about 3 mph. With every 1000 feet of elevation,it takes a person about 30 minutes to hike add or subtract 10 minutes per 1000 feet. Make sure to give yourself time for breaks and sightseeing.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you should be back. Safety is a top priority if you are going hiking, especially alone.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Try to avoid wandering off the marked trails,especially if you are not familiar with the area. If you are at a major junction in the trail, take note of it for your return trip. Even turning around every so often to familiarize yourself with the view for the return trip down.
- Bring water and snacks for your hike! Staying hydrated and keeping a snack on hand is a great idea especially if you are heading out on a longer hike to make sure you stay hydrated and energized.
- Make sure to pick a trail that is equal to your experience level and be sure to watch where you step. If possible bringing a first aid kit is always a great idea.
- Stretch before you start your hike to avoid injuries. Taking a few minutes to stretch before starting your hike can make all the difference, if you are looking for tips asking your PT!