Walking might seem as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, but there’s more to getting the most out of your walks. If you aren’t prepared for your hikes, then they can easily turn into an unenjoyable slog. Here are some tips to help you along.
Why You Should Take Up Walking
Walking is a great form of exercise for multiple reasons. First, it’s relatively low-impact and easy to get into, which means that people of all ages and abilities can get involved. But a hike can be more strenuous if you prefer a challenge.
Walks also encourage people to go outside, which does wonders for mental and physical health. Hiking is an excellent cardiovascular exercise, making it a great way to get healthy and maintain good health.
Knowing where you’re going and how long it will take is a major part of being prepared for your walk. While it seems fun to just set off and see where you end up, such an approach can easily lead to you getting lost. Getting lost in an unfamiliar area can be very dangerous, especially if you underestimate the difficulty of the walk.
Instead, plan your walks. Make sure that the walk isn’t too difficult for you or anyone else in your walking party. Figure out how long it will take and what the likely weather conditions will be.
Find a map of the route that you’re taking. Good navigation can be a lifesaver on a walk, especially if someone slips and gets hurt. Hiking GPS can help you navigate, especially when paired with a good map.
The Right Gear
The right walking clothes and shoes can make all the difference. Ideally, you should wear multiple thin layers of clothing, so you can easily remove layers if need be. The inner layer should be made with a material that repels sweat. The outer layer should be windproof and at least water-resistant. Between these layers, you should wear insulating clothes, depending on the weather.
Possibly even more important are the shoes. Poor walking shoes and socks lead to blisters, rolled ankles, and potentially even injury. Comfortable and versatile walking shoes, like SAS free time shoes, can prevent these.
When you’re planning your walk, use it to inform what clothing and shoes you wear. But always bring an appropriate hat. In summer, it will keep you cool and protect your skin from the sun, while in winter, a hat will insulate your head and ears, keeping you warm.
Regardless of how long or difficult the hike is, you will need to take at least a bottle of water to keep you hydrated. This is especially important on warmer days when you’re likely to lose a lot of water through sweat and exertion.
Longer walks may need snacks or a packed lunch to keep you going, as well as more water. In this case, taking a small backpack with you might be ideal. While you’re at it, pack a flashlight and a battery pack for your phone, just in case.