We are very lucky to live in a place surrounded by the natural beauty of British Columbia. As the weather starts to transition into cool fall temperatures and the sun stays shining, it becomes the perfect weather for hikes in our area. Here are some known benefits of hiking from a physiological perspective as well as tricks to improve your hiking experience whether you’re starting as a beginner or heading into more advanced hikes.
- Improved cardiovascular health including lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of health disease
- Associated with enhanced mental wellbeing and lowered cortisol levels (stress)
- Increases bone strength and density, lowering the risk of osteoporosis
- Improved balance, flexibility, and coordination
Know Before You Go
- Common mistakes: sunburns, dehydration, exhaustion → be sure to start small when hiking for the first time and let someone know where you’re hiking and how long you are expected to be there.
- Be sure to apply sunscreen, bring plenty of water, and snacks even on shorter hikes incase you begin to feel light headed.
- Always check with your doctor or physiotherapist if you are recovering from an injury or other health issue and you’d like to take on a big hike.
- Injury prevention: the most common injuries acquired from hiking is knee and ankle sprains. Be mindful of strengthening your ankle in your day to day training to prevent this. Check out our YouTube for video tutorials on some exercises to do to strengthen your ankle and knee.
Ankle Sprains and Strains: Roller Bridges
Ankle Sprain: Lunge Squats
Ankle Sprain Injuries: Split Squats Ankle Strengthening
If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.