Hiking provides rich benefits for your body and mind. An extended hike is a great cardio workout, and unpredictable trails put your mind to work as you navigate your way through. Immersing yourself in a natural setting helps you relax and unburdens you from mental fatigue.
Keeping up your energy levels will allow you to reap the greatest benefits from your adventure. Read on to discover essential tips for maintaining your energy on a hike.
Hydrate Before, During, and After the Hike
Water is critical for proper bodily functions. Symptoms of severe dehydration include muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, nausea, and extreme fatigue.
The amount of water you need depends on several factors, such as your weight, health conditions, and activity level. Generally, you should drink some water a couple of hours before your hike begins.
During the hike, drink about 6 to 12 ounces of water or an electrolyte-rich drink every 20 minutes. Preserve some of your water supply for the walk back. And once the hike ends, drink more fluids to replenish water and electrolyte loss.
Fuel Up With Nutritious Food
Another tip for maintaining your energy on a hike is to fuel yourself with nutritious food. Power your muscles with easily digestible carbs. Eating foods like whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and whole-wheat toast the day before the hike will give you a good start. Fruits and vegetables also give your body a wealth of nutrients that benefit your exercise.
During the hike, eat nutrient-dense snacks like nuts, seeds, peanut butter, energy bars, trail mix, crackers, jerky, and fresh or dried fruit. Eat a meal consisting of complex carbs and protein within an hour after your hike to help your body recover. Consider consuming items like cottage cheese, eggs, lean meat or fish, tofu, whole-grain pasta, fruit, sweet potatoes, nuts, and avocado.
Move at the Right Pace
Hike at a sustainable pace from the beginning of your trip. You’re likely to have more energy and enthusiasm at the start of your journey, but you don’t want to expend all of your energy at the beginning and run on fumes in the latter half.
Your hiking pace on natural terrain is typically slower than on paved ground. Obstacles, uneven ground, and sharp inclines and declines will make you slow down. Use this opportunity to appreciate your surroundings.
Dress for the Environment
Exposure to the elements can quickly sap your vitality, and uncomfortable fabrics irritate your skin and bring your mood down. Comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes are essential items to bring on your hiking trip. Pack a rain jacket, a warm jacket, and a hat to protect yourself from precipitation, low temperatures, and bright sunlight.
Avoid wearing cotton, which holds onto sweat and will make you feel soaked. Fast-drying materials like polyester improve moisture management.
You will maneuver easily in comfortable, sturdy pants that can withstand brushes with branches, rocks, and other things on the trail. And remember to protect your feet with sturdy footwear.
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