Disclaimer: Please be aware that information in this article is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano CAT(C), Certified Athletic Therapist
Hiking is one of many fun activities you can do during the summer. It is much more enjoyable if you can manage the challenge it offers. Some things to consider when planning a hiking adventure are; how long the hike is, the weather, how hilly the hike is and how uneven the ground ground might be.
Here are Five tips to help you prevent knee injuries while hiking.
Tip #1 - Practice Walking
You must prepare yourself to walk for 45-60 minutes 3x/week. You can gradually work up to 60 minutes and increase the frequency of your walk per week. The goal is to condition your body to a long steady walking pace. You will be improving your cardiovascular system at the same time conditioning your muscles to endure long walking distance. By doing this, you will also gain confidence in taking on any hiking trails.
Tip #2: Strengthen your leg muscles
Exercises to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves are important because majority of the work will be done by your legs. Complete the exercises three sets of 12-15 repetitions 3x/week. The repetitions are higher because you are working on your muscle endurance.
Tip #3: Walk on an incline
If you have access to a hill near you, it is best to practice walking up on the hill and going down. There are garbage hills in the city that you can find and would be helpful to practice. If that is not accessible, you can walk on a treadmill on an incline. By doing this, you will be training close to hiking movements.
Tip #4: Practice on different surfaces
At home, you can create an obstacle course to train on different surfaces at the same time working on your balance. You can walk on a balance beam, pillow, bosu ball, rocker board and even balance pods. Whatever you have at home that create the uneven surface will work.
Tip #5: Be confident
The most important tip I can give you is to be confident when going on an adventure! That means when you are confident, you will have fun and not worry or be scared about anything that can go wrong. Enjoy your adventure!!!
Be sure to incorporate these simple tips to help you prevent knee injuries. There are great hiking trails around; some popular ones that are recommended by friends which I am looking forward to trying are Hunt Lake Trail, Spirit Sands Trail and Steep Rock Trail.
Stay tuned for the next article on Recovery Tips after your hike.
For more advice or exercise ideas, book in for a consult with an Insahyu Athletic Therapist today!
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Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists.