Make Hiking Better With These Tips
With the weather finally warming up, now is the perfect time to add forest bathing (hiking) to your workout routine.
- Get out early. It’s a good way to beat the heat and start your day off –you may even build momentum to keep you motivated to stay active the rest of the day!
- Stretch first. Take 5-10 minutes at the trailhead and do 6-8 static stretches and hit all your major muscle groups.
- Water, Water, Water. Always carry more water than you think you’ll need, but ultimately as much as you comfortably can carry. Around 100 fluid ounces per person for a 2+ hour hike should be plenty, with more or less needed depending on the weather and fitness level.
- Got blisters? Slow down or take smaller steps. Consider hiking with poles to reduce stress on your feet.
- Find a great hike near you. Check out American Trails, US Forest Service or National Park Service. You can always visit your local sporting goods store for maps and any gear you’ll need.
Hiking speaks to the trending Japanese therapy, Shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) where one simply takes leisurely visits to a forest. Research shows that hiking increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent. It can also provide therapeutic value to those suffering from depression, empowering them to feel less hopeless and depressed.
Going on hikes is not only a great way to immerse yourself in nature and unplug for a few hours, it’s a great way to get a full body workout.
Senior Program Guide at The Ranch Malibu and The Ranch 4.0, Jenni Dooley, says the daily hikes are one of the most memorable parts of the experience and provided these essential tips for anyone thinking of hitting the trails this summer.