Warm weather and outdoor exploring are here. Hiking around on our Arizona trails, and even around our county parks, is great exercise and great fun, especially if you keep yourself safe and injury-free.
Before hiking, make sure that you are physically capable of going on a hiking expedition. If you’re suffering from arthritis or other joint conditions, check with a specialist to make sure you are able to hike. Longer hikes should be for those who are more experienced, while amateurs and less-experienced hikers should consider a shorter route.
Start by making sure you have the proper gear for your hike. For shorter more mild hikes, sneakers may be fine. For longer more strenuous hikes, boots will provide better support and protection. While on the trails, make sure you are always aware of your footing, many trails contain loose or wet rocks and roots which can be dangerous, especially to knees and ankles. When coming down hills it is important to take your time, be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid stomping down on your feet. If you feel a funny twitch or a small pain, don’t ignore it. Take a break, and if you need to turn back do so before you create a serious injury
Planning in advance for your hike is the key to enjoying a safe hike. Check the weather, hiking in poor weather is not only messy but dangerous as well. Be sure to bring extra clothing including rain gear and warm clothing. When packing a bag, bring extra snacks, plenty of water and always include a first aid kit and map of the trail. For those hiking with previous injuries, it is always a good idea to bring extra braces or wraps. Hiking sticks or trekking poles can help ensure you have a sturdy foot while reducing some of the impact on your legs and feet.
If you have a hike planned, train in the weeks ahead of time. Don’t forget to stretch both before and after your hike while hydrating in the days before and during the hike. Many do not consider the possibility of dehydration which can have dangerous effects. After your hike, get the proper nutrition your body needs for recovery.
If you experience an orthopedic injury while hiking or any-other weekend warrior activity, TOCA is here to get you back to your life! To schedule an appointment call 602-277-6211 today!