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How to Find Balance on the Trail

How to Find Balance on the Trail

Hiking has become one of the most popular outdoor activities in recent years, and with good reason—it’s inexpensive, fun, and good exercise! But before you get started on your new hobby, it’s important to learn how to avoid injury and develop an effective hiking routine. This guide will help you find balance on the trail so that you can experience all that nature has to offer without overdoing it.

Tips for beginners
-Set a realistic goal. Are you trying to reach the summit of Mt. Whitney in under 12 hours, or maybe you want to hike all 2,650 miles of America’s National Scenic Trails? Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Choose a hike that will last at least two weeks and give yourself plenty of time for resting along the way.
-Pay attention to your body. Watch out for any signs of overuse injuries like shin splints, hip flexor tightness, or knee pain. Keep a close eye on the areas most likely to be affected by this kind of injury: feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
-Be aware of environmental hazards like hypothermia. If it is cold outside (less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit), cover up with layers as well as thermal protection from head to toe if needed!

Achieving balance before your hike
The best way to find balance before your hike is by focusing on a few physical and mental activities that bring you joy. Make sure you include at least one physical activity, such as yoga or a long walk, in addition to one of your favorite hobbies. Then, try to plan your hike for the early morning or evening time – this will allow your body some time after work or school before it starts manufacturing stress hormones. However, make sure not to over-plan your day by scheduling too many events in advance.

Staying balanced in nature
It’s a common question and concern for novice hikers: how do I stay balanced on trails? When in doubt, take short steps with your front foot going towards the direction of travel. Keeping your weight centered will help you remain balanced. There are also a few simple tips you can use before hitting the trail which will help with balancing as well:

See Also

  • Stretch out before hiking. Tight muscles will pull you off balance and cause soreness later on. A good warm up routine should include movements that stretch each leg, arm, shoulder blade, back and neck separately. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds or five deep breaths.
  • Start slow; if it is your first time hiking or if you have not been active in awhile try starting with shorter hikes until your body adjusts to new physical demands. The most important thing is to listen to what your body is telling you and adjust accordingly.

Remaining balanced at home
When people start out in exercise, it’s common for them to go hard and then stop suddenly. In a similar way, it can also be common for hikers that are just starting out to hike hard and then stop abruptly. For this reason, finding balance in your hiking routine is paramount. To avoid becoming over-trained or under-trained and eventually burning out, find a middle ground where you’re both doing enough exercise but not going over board with it.

The reality of balance in life
Working life, family, hobbies and health are important to me. One way I’m able to find a balance in all of them is through hiking. Hiking gives me some time outside, gets my heart rate up for cardio health and forges relationships with people who love nature as much as I do. The trick is not to overdo it – there’s no point doing a hard hike if you’re coming off a tough week at work or if your feet are hurting or if you’re exhausted.

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