Hiking is one of the most favorite activities to people of all ages. Depending on your skills, there are so many different hiking trail networks across the country that you can’t figure out where to start from. Being a mature senior doesn’t mean that you should seat on a park bench all day and wait for days to go by. Instead, take an action and join a mountaineering or hiking club and start exploring the local trails. Aging doesn’t mean being passive and with low self-esteem. If you are a senior hiking enthusiast, here are some useful tips that will help you make your wilderness adventure enjoyable and pleasant.
Before you head on your first trail make sure you consult your doctor. Also, let someone know where you are going and for how long, or even better, invite a friend to hike with you! Bring at least two liters of water and a snack rich in proteins. An extra pair of socks, a whistle, and a first aid kit are also useful items that you should consider having with you. Always go early in the morning.
Forget about jeans and fancy clothes, as well as cotton. Opt for athletic, moisture-wicking clothing or yoga pants and shirts. Sturdy tennis shoes will be perfectly fine for your day hike. Check the weather forecast before getting out of your home.
Stretch before start hiking
No need to exercise for an hour, but try to stretch your legs, do a basic warm-up just to prepare your body for the move. Gentle toe touches, side-to-side waist stretches, and over-the-head arm extensions should work perfectly fine for you.
Follow your own pace
Hiking isn’t a race and you won’t win anything if you finish the trail in a record time. Therefore, relax, take a deep breath and follow your own pace. If you’re hiking with someone that’s walking faster than you ask them to slow down, or just let them go in front of you. Never force yourself or speed up if you don’t feel comfortable with it.
Start with short hikes
Don’t force yourself more than 30 minutes or 1 hour the first day. If you’re not used to walking long distances then half an hour will do you good. The best thing you can do is to start with beginner level trails and then go for moderate level trails with elevation changes. Don’t forget to get off the trail before sunset because hiking in the dark is not fun if you’re not experienced.
Get a walking stick or trekking poles
In case you decide to hike on a rocky terrain or uphill, then using a walking stick or trekking poles is not a bad idea at all. Before heading on a trail try them on to see how it feels. These accessories are not necessary but can make your hike more fun and comfortable.
Join the local hiking club
The best way to enjoy being on the trail is to join fellow senior hikers that share the same passion as you do. Joining the local hiking club will improve your social life, you’ll get to meet new people and travel together with them. It’s always better to do what you want to do with someone else. The age doesn’t matter if you know what you want. Think of a place that you always wanted to visit, find a good crew, and make them go with you. Love nature, have fun, and good luck!
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