The fall colors that Colorado is known for are just a few short weeks away. The aspen leaves on the mountainsides draw hikers and visitors from around the globe. However, the cooler weather and impressive scenery offer more than just a workout for your eyes!
As autumn’s outdoor temperatures begin their gentle slope toward winter, it’s a chance look forward to opportunities for vigorous cardiorespiratory activities that is put aside in the heat of the summer. It’s much easier to hike in the spring and fall, even in the peak afternoon hours, because the sun’s intensity is less harsh.
Hiking is a wonderful form of exercise for the entire family, regardless of age – and it’s FUN! Combining both cardiorespiratory and strength training activities (which train not only your heart and lungs but also the large muscle groups of your legs), hiking is a super way to enjoy the fresh air and get the oxygen pumping. It is important to remember that as hiking is not a gradual sport, it’s important to have acquired a good level of fitness before you begin.
When you hike, it’s best to expect the unexpected, and certain basic supplies are critically necessary. In terms of fitness preparation, beginning hikers should be able to walk four miles at a brisk pace. Endurance is key. This level of fitness will allow you to hike a two-mile trail at a modest incline, covering a total of four miles out and back. Hiking this level of distance and intensity a few times will provide the preparation needed for increasing your hiking distance.
Hiking preparation also includes strength training. In a comprehensive strength training program, you train all major muscle groups once a week. This is done by performing “split routines” such as training chest and back, shoulders and arms, and legs on separate days. Your comprehensive strength training program works synergistically with your cardiorespiratory exercise. Doing one form of exercise benefits the other activity and the result is substantial improvement in your fitness levels. The overall result is that you are appropriately prepared to hike.
Every hiker needs a backpack. This will contain a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a two-liter water bottle, some trail mix and protein bars, a GPS-capable phone, a map and compass (as low-tech backups to your phone’s GPS), and a lightweight rain slicker or waterproof poncho. Each of these items is necessary for a safe and enjoyable hike. You don’t want to run out of water or snacks. You don’t want to get sunburnt or rained on. And you certainly don’t want to get lost. By Murphy’s Law, the supply that you neglect or forget to bring, is the one you will need on that hike. The best policy is to always be prepared.
Regular Chiropractic Care helps you climb
Vigorous exercises such as hiking, running, and walking pose challenges to the cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal systems. By increasing loads on the lumbar spinal vertebra, pelvis, thigh bones, shin bones, and ankle bones, these exercises also engage metabolic pathways involved in production of new bone. Regular chiropractic care helps ensure that your body effectively meets the various physiological demands imposed by our exercise activities.