What is hiking?
Hiking is one of the least expensive, simplest, and easiest physical activities that do not require any special equipment or skills, and it is a way to improve physical fitness, maintain health and reduce stress, and it is unfortunate that it has not received the appreciation it deserves, whether in terms of health or its value as a means of transportation and entertainment, in the present era, we see that the more humanity develops, the less they practice it.
This sport can be practiced at any time and anywhere (such as parks, markets, public roads on the seashore, trails to hike near me, etc.) and is not limited to a certain age and even if the person is not able to exercise in general due to his health conditions, but Hiking will contribute to improving health and restoring activity, and can be made part of daily life.
While Hiking, all the muscles of the body move, from the muscles of the feet to the muscles of the arms. They also increase blood flow to all organs of the body.
Benefits of Hiking:
Burn excess calories.
Maintain a healthy weight and improve physical fitness.
Prevention of chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, type II diabetes).
Help reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
Promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
Reduce anxiety or depression and improve mood.
Maintain joint flexibility and muscle strength.
Improve balance and blood flow in the body.
The faster you walk, the longer and more frequently, the greater the benefits.
Duration of Hiking:
It is recommended to hike for at least 30 minutes a day, and it is not necessary to walk for hours to get its benefits, but it is enough to Hike for more than 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the duration until it reaches the recommended goal.
Because Hiking is less intense than running, it will require more time and more frequency to reach the benefits of running, as the American Heart Association recommends walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (150 minutes a week), which is equivalent to running for 20 minutes a day for three days a week.
The difference between Hiking and jogging:
Hiking does not simply mean slow running, but the difference goes beyond that, as walking means that one foot remains on the ground – at least – alternately all the time, but during running both feet rise in one of its stages (i.e. like jumping), and the higher the speed, the longer the jumps.
The difference between Hiking and climbing stairs or Hiking on high ground and others:
Going up in general is a 50 percent more intense activity than normal walking, downward (descending), or carrying weights, as a person reaches peak effort when climbing faster than normal walking, so the majority of people feel tired when climbing to the upper floors, but in contrast, calories are burned faster when climbing stairs.
Because of the increased effort when climbing long distances, it is only recommended for those who have sufficient fitness to do it, but it is okay for everyone to do it for short distances, simply and at a steady speed because of its additional benefits on health, but it is not recommended after eating a heavy meal or when feeling unwell.
The correct Hiking method:
Converting normal Hiking into healthy walking requires standing in a proper position and making certain meaningful movements such as:
Raise the head, look forward, and not to the floor.
Relax the neck, shoulders, and back, and do not make them bend forward.
Move the arms freely with a slight curvature of the elbows, knowing that the movement of the arms comes from the shoulder and not from the elbow.
Tighten the abdominal muscles, making sure that the back is properly straightened.
Take into account the flexibility of the knee movement and do not move the leg and thigh together.
Walk smoothly, with the heel touching the ground first and then the fingers.
Guidelines when Hiking:
Choose suitable and supportive shoes with a durable heel and a thick elastic lining to absorb shock, and not cause skin ulcers.
If it’s walking to the work route, it’s okay to wear your usual work clothes and wear comfortable, brightly colored clothes when walking outside at night.
Choosing the right place: If walking outside, it is recommended to avoid off-road roads with cracked sidewalks and excavations, and if the weather is not suitable for walking, it is recommended to go to places designated for walking such as markets.
If you are walking a long distance, bring some water, snacks, spare clothes, sunscreen, and a sun protection hat.
Warm-up (warm-up): It means starting with a slow walk for five to ten minutes to warm up the muscles and prepare the body for sports.
Cooling: It means ending walking by slowing down for five to ten minutes, to calm the muscles.
Stretching exercises: Stretching exercises can be done after heating up or after cooling.
Tips for diabetics before starting Hiking:
Regulate the time of taking treatment (insulin needles or medications).
Refrain from injecting insulin into the thigh muscle because sport in general makes it absorb insulin very quickly.
Check your blood sugar level 15 minutes before walking and an hour later.
Avoid walking when you notice unusually high blood sugar.
People prone to hypoglycemia are advised to take someone to an emergency ambulance.
Organize meal times to avoid low sugar, as the person will remain vulnerable to low at any moment for more than a day after walking.
Tips for asthma patients before starting Hiking:
Walking is a great way for asthma patients, as it helps lung expansion and relaxation, and the following is recommended:
Use the inhaler at least half an hour before starting.
Taking an inhaler for an emergency.
Take care of warm-up exercises before walking.
Avoid walking in areas with polluted air (such as busy roads).
Cover the face with a scarf or a piece of wool when the air is cold.
Hiking for the elderly:
The walking area should be secured so that it is safe and the floor is flat and not laborious, and discuss any specific needs before starting to walk.
Hiking for children:
Babies get bored easily and may need a little encouragement to keep walking, here are tips:
Focus on an exciting destination for them (such as a park, playground, etc.), where they can walk freely.
Choose a zigzag path for them.
He took a camera and asked to help them take pictures.
Encourage the child to invite a friend to share the walk.
Provide healthy snacks and drinks, and when the child shows signs of fatigue, take a break.
Warnings While Hiking:
Stop if you feel dizzy, very tired, or have difficulty breathing.
Avoid walking directly under the sun.
Avoid walking without an escort when suffering from chronic diseases.
Pay attention to the road while walking to avoid falling.
Avoid eating while walking or immediately after it to avoid disturbances in digestion.
Water should be drunk constantly and in batches during and after walking.
Signs of good Hiking:
Proper walking means covering 3 miles per hour (a mile is equivalent to 1600 meters, or about one and a half kilometers), and it means jogging, not hiking, and smart device applications can be used to calculate the distance traveled.
Tips to stimulate Hiking:
Park the car away and complete the road on foot.
Walking with friends.
Stroll with family and friends.
Go out for a walk on work breaks instead of wasting all the time sitting.
Use stairs instead of elevators.
Going on foot to pick up the children from school.
Listen to audio clips to forget about the effort of walking.
Set a specific goal, make sure to reach it, and follow up on the level of improvement by walking.
Using smart device applications to encourage and follow up.
Change the place continuously, and use different routes if walking outside.
When should you consult a doctor?
For people with heart disease.
For people with diabetes.
For people with arthritis.
For people with COPD.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Hiking on a treadmill have the same effect as walking outdoors?
They are close in effect and effect.
Is Hiking without shoes harmful?
It is necessary to wear suitable and comfortable shoes while walking, and shoes should be chosen that have internal pads that help absorb the impact with the ground and that the shoes fit the person’s foot and are not wide or tight, with the importance of wearing cotton socks that absorb sweat.