If you’re a fitness freak, into hiking, want to know what hiking is all about, or all three, there’s just no better time than the fall season! Hiking is a golden way to unleash one’s inner spirit, and is a favorite among fitness freaks as a form of exercise. It is considered one of the most underrated forms of physical activity. But just as any form of exercise, hiking too has a number of health benefits. Hiking is also known to be an unpredictable form of exercise as you might be taking a different route or trail each time, ensuring that there’s always something new. Other major benefits of hiking include:
- Strengthening of core hip, leg and torso muscles
- Enhanced balance
- Bone density growth
- Assists in weight control
- Keeps blood pressure in check
- Great de-stressor
Apart from various health benefits, hiking is also a judicious way to bond with family and friends. However, such hiking trips with those who aren’t accustomed to the strain will only end up in misery with aching backs, fatigued thigh muscles, and over worked lungs. However, there’s nothing that a little pre-hike training won’t fix; it will, in fact, make the hike easier and will also help you avoid post-hike problems.
There are a number of amazing hiking locations around or relatively close to NYC, including Harimann State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Storm King State Park, Black Rock Forest, Fahnestock State Park, and of course the beautiful Catskills. Some of them even easily accessible via public transportation. Find trails and details on the website of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference. For hiking in the fall check out the New York Fall Foliage Report to pick the best areas for a colorful experience.
Tips for a Better Hike
- Stretch – Stretching both before as well as after a hike will greatly reduce your chances of stress based injury. It helps to prevent any muscle imbalances, and also speeds the process of energy recovery.
- Be Prepared – It’s the great outdoors, and you’re going to have to be ready for any kind of situation or emergency. This includes having adequate supplies of food and water, a first aid kit, maps, compass, etc.
- Exhaustion – While hiking, aim to drink about 30 ounces of water every. More than that could lead to hyponatremia, and any less could potentially lead to dehydration.
Other Things to Know
- Unfamiliar Hikes – If you’re travelling along unfamiliar trails or in odd weather conditions, take someone with you and always make sure people know where you’re going. Also, hiking in winters can be a real pleasure, if you’re prepared and cognizant of the best practices and preparation tips.
- Going Downhill – Going downhill might seem like a piece of cake when hiking, but the body is in fact working even harder as it tries to prevent you from falling flat on your face. So, allow for a 3-4 week training period before attempting challenging hiking trails.
- Tick – Ticks are another menace and can even be fatal. So, make sure to regularly search for ticks all over your body.
September 15th 2015, written by Benjamin Roussey for bodono.
Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006) where he attributes his writing prowess. He has worked everywhere from small businesses to large corporations, and also for public agencies. He has lived in Korea and Saudi Arabia where he was an ESL instructor. He misses Saudi food and living in Korea. Benjamin has a tremendous work ethic and is quite focused. Now he writes professionally for several clients that covers one sector of our economy to another. Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online: www.infinista.com.