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If you love the outdoors and are looking for new ways to improve your fitness, hiking may be your answer. Hiking can seem intimidating because it is easy to imagine professionals trekking across the Appalachian trail or traversing the Pacific Crest Trail. However, most hikers are not high performance athletes, but regular people who simply enjoy getting out into nature, while improving physical fitness.
The World Health Organization recommends older adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity. Most hikes can certainly qualify as moderate-intensity physical activity, and this holds true even if you walk beginner’s trails.
In national parks, trail maps often indicate which trails are better left to seasoned hikers and which trails are navigable by beginners. You might find yourself wondering which trail you should take if you are a beginner hiker. There is no shame in taking easier trails, in fact it is the wisest choice when you are just starting out. It doesn’t mean giving up beautiful views, but it does mean a safer hike and you will still receive the health benefits hiking lends.
If going to a national park is not an option, look for hiking opportunities close to your area. Even if you don’t live near mountains, you can hike along riverbanks, through wooded areas or around local lakes.
The right preparation and equipment is essential for a good hiking experience. Before you get started make sure you are familiar with hiking skills and techniques. Many people consider hiking walking, but it is still a sport that you can practice and master. You should be aware of the altitude where you plan to hike, as physical stamina decreases in higher altitudes where the air is less oxygen-rich. Your hiking trips may need to be kept short at high altitudes. It is always best to start with short hikes and gradually lengthens them as your endurance grows. No matter what season or terrain, you will need the following:
Like any other sport, hiking challenges the muscles and this can sometimes bring pain. No matter which kind of natural terrain you hike upon, hiking works the body harder than walking on flat urban surfaces. Do not let the prospect of muscle pain deter you from enjoying this opportunity for fresh air and the great outdoors.
You can prepare your muscles by doing gentle stretches before you begin your hike. Avoid pain and soreness later by being proactive about pain relief. Massage your muscles and then apply Super Blue Stuff OTC pain relief cream, an all-natural pain relief cream. The stimulation and warmth prepares your muscles for the work in store for them.
Don’t forget to bring Super Blue Stuff OTC pain relief cream with you on the trail as well. It brings natural joint and muscle pain relief, strains or sprains, and it can be safely used at any time, before, during or after the hike.
Even if you don’t feel pain during the hike, in the evening or the next day, your muscles might complain a bit about the extra exertion. Once your body gets used to hiking, you should not experience so much soreness each time. Until then, Super Blue Stuff OTC will keep you more comfortable, and soon you will be ready again to get back out to enjoy the trails.
Super Blue Stuff OTC Pain Relief Cream with Emu Oil by BLUESPRING is the natural way to relieve muscle aches and joint pain. Made with the power of menthol, MSM, glucosamine and 11 therapeutic herbs, the lightweight cream goes on easy, leaves no greasy feel and is absorbed quickly and deeply in to the muscle and joints. Pain relief can come in as fast as five minutes. It is safe to use before or after any exercise session and has no negative side effects.
For people with sensitive skin, try BLUESPRING’s Super White Stuff OTC. It’s the same great pain relief formula as the Super Blue but with no added color or scents.
When you are ready to add hiking to your fitness plan, remember to start with easy, short hikes, wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water, pain reliever and your sense of adventure. Go at your own pace, and remember hiking is about the journey and not a race.