Hiking. Lesson 4.1. Fitness. Hiking

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1 Lesson 4.1 By Carone Fitness If you enjoy walking, you will probably enjoy hiking. The main difference between hiking and fitness walking is the change in terrain. is typically done in a forest, wilderness, or on a mountain. has the same health benefits of walking with an added bonus. with a pound backpack k increases the calories you burn by 10 to 15%. 1

2 Types of Hikes There are two main types of hikes: day hikes and extended overnight hikes (often referred to as backpacking). The information in this lesson is relevant to day hikes. It may be adapted to overnight hikes, although additional information should be taken into consideration when backpacking. Technique The same technique principles for walking also apply to hiking, especially those for walking up and down hills: - Maintain good posture. - Warm up for 5-10 minutes. - Slow down if you are out of breath. - Take quick steps, not a long stride. - Stretch after you walk. 2

3 Stick Although a stick is not recommended for walking, it can be helpful to use a stick while hiking because of the uneven terrain. Walking poles can increase the workout and add a component of arm strength. It is best to use two poles as one stick may cause an imbalance. What To Pack Not all hikers bring the same things with them. Here is a list of things you might find useful on your hike: Backpack Extra pair of socks Raincoat or light jacket Hat and sunglasses Large trash bag (to be used as a shelter in an emergency) Water bottles (at least 2 quarts, or 2 liters, per person a day) Food that can easily be eaten on the trail Toilet paper Sunscreen and insect repellent Pocket knife First aid kit Whistle Flashlight Cell phone (Be aware that you might not get reception.) Map and compass (or GPS) 3

4 Backpack Remember that on your return hike you have to carry back everything that you take with you. Thus, the ideal backpack is lightweight, and the heaviest items in it should be food and water. Bring only the essentials. Tips in nature parks, mountains, and other remote areas can create some safety concerns. Here are several tips to ensure safety when hiking: Plan ahead. Be prepared. Hike in groups. Know the weather forecast. Use navigation tools. Wear proper footwear. Take a first aid kit Know the plants and insects. Watch out for animals. Take breaks. Hike with minimum impact. S.T.O.P. Ensure proper nutrition and hydration. 4

5 Plan Ahead Get to know the area you are going to hike in, and collect information about it. Plan your hike, and leave an itinerary and estimated hiking times behind with someone. Be Prepared Plan a hike according to your fitness level; l start t with easier hikes and work up to more difficult hikes. As a beginner hiker, a good distance to aim for is 3km (1.86 miles), which will take an hour and a half to hike. A full day hike is around 10km (6.2 miles). Eat sufficiently prior to hiking and Eat sufficiently prior to hiking, and bring snacks and plenty of water (2 quarts or 2 liters per person). Wear clothing appropriate for the weather, and be prepared for possible weather changes. 5

6 Hike in Groups Never hike alone as you are venturing into the wilderness. You should always hike with someone. A group no larger than 10 is ideal. Remember to hike only as fast as your slowest member so that no one becomes exhausted. Know the Weather Forecast Check the weather report before your leave on your hike. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes: long sleeves and pants are good for protection, and a hat is also a good idea. Remember to wear sunscreen even if it is cloudy, as the sun rays can still be damaging. g Also, be prepared for insects, depending on the season. Always bring a raincoat or light jacket in case of unexpected weather. 6

7 Use Navigation Tools Some hiking trails require very little navigation, whereas others require a lot. Many parks have trails designated by signposts, and they often provide a map so that you can plan your route. In other areas there are no markers on the trail; yet hiking guides indicate landmarks that can be followed. Still other hiking guides use compass bearings or coordinates. These require a compass or GPS device and the knowledge to use them. In every instance, it is a good idea to pay attention to landmarks as you hike, so you can find your way back easily. Wear Proper Footwear Unless you are hiking on a paved or groomed trail, you should wear hiking boots. Walking shoes do not provide as much ankle support, which is necessary on the uneven terrain, or as much protection from the elements as hiking boots. Remember to break in your hiking boots, as the leather will be stiff initially. iti This will cause blisters if not softened prior to your first hike. Also, it is a good idea to wear two pairs of socks, a thin pair and heavier pair; this will help you avoid blisters. 7

8 Take a First Aid Kit It is recommended that you hike with someone who has knowledge of first aid. If you are going to be hiking a long distance, it could take some time for help to arrive; thus, knowledge of first aid could be very useful. Even if you are only going on a short hike, you should carry a basic first aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic, insect bite treatment, sun screen, scissors, tweezers, an emergency blanket, waterproof matches, etc. Know the Plants and Insects When hiking you may encounter several different plants and insects that are poisonous or that can cause allergic reactions. Know the plants and insects in the area you intend to hike, and learn how to identify poisonous ones and avoid them. A good common rule for poisonous plants is Leaves of three, then let it be. Both poison ivy and poison oak are distinguished by a cluster of three leaves. Do not eat any berries while hiking. When hiking in a heavily wooded or grassy area, check often for ticks; they can embed themselves into your skin and must be removed immediately. 8

9 Watch out for Animals Be aware of what animals are present in the area you are hiking. You should know how to best avoid them and what to do if you encounter them. An unpleasant encounter is more likely when the animal is unaware of your presence and you surprise them. Many hikers traveling in bear country will wear bells, so they can be heard from a distance. Take Breaks As you are hiking, it is important to stop and rest at times. Take a 10-minute break during every hour of hiking. A break provides a good time to have a drink and a snack as well as to stop and enjoy the scenery. Take off your backpack and sit down. When you stop for lunch, it is also a good idea to take off your hiking boots, let your feet air out and prop them up on a rock. Taking breaks will avoid overexertion, and, in the long run, they will not slow you down. 9

10 Hike with Minimum Impact One of the great benefits of hiking is the enjoyment of the great outdoors. It is important, therefore, to practice minimum-impact hiking so that others after you can also enjoy the scenery. Minimumimpact hiking means leaving a minimal impact on the environment. Ways to ensure this are to only walk on the paths, hike out with everything that you take in (especially garbage), and pick up any trash that you might come across. S.T.O.P. If, despite your planning, you find yourself lost when hiking, S.T.O.P. (stop, think, observe and plan). S- Stop, as you might be going in the wrong direction. T- Think about where you came from and where you might have made a wrong turn. O- Observe; look around for any familiar landmarks. P- Plan; decide what you are going to do, and stick to that decision. If you cannot find any familiar landmarks, then stay put. Blow your whistle at timed intervals to signal rescuers or other hikers. 10

11 Nutrition and Hydration Eat a good meal, drink plenty of fluids before you hike, and bring enough water and snacks with you. It is important to drink before you are thirsty, as thirst is a sign of dehydration. As with race walking, it is a good idea to have electrolyte drinks (such as Gatorade) or salty snacks to replace the fuels used during exercise. You will need to eat and drink more while hiking than you normally would. Even though your walking pace may not be very fast (the average hiker travels 2 miles per hour), you are expending a lot of energy. Enjoy the Hike allows for more diversity than walking in suburban b areas. When you are hiking, be sure to enjoy the scenery, the wildlife, and vegetation around you. Have fun on your next hiking adventure. 11

12 Presented By Carone Fitness 12

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