Have you been hiking for a long time? Are you hitting the trail for the first time? No matter what type of hiker you are, keeping your feet in tiptop shape should be a priority. It is important to understand the amount of stress and strain that our feet go through when we walk long distances especially on uneven terrain.
All the fun and freedom you are experiencing when hiking can all be gone in a blink of an eye if you become injured due to carelessness or lack of preparation.
When communing with Mother Nature there are just so many ways that you can accidentally hurt your feet and ankles. Take some precautions to ensure that you will be able to get home safe and sound, standing on your own two feet.
Start at Home
Yes, you read it right, prevention of foot injury during hiking starts at home! Long before you even plan to lace up your boots and take your first step outside your home, you should already be prepared for the rigorous trek ahead. This means strengthening and keeping your feet and ankles properly stretched.
Begin by going barefoot in your home or garden. Using only your toes, try to pick up marbles or pull out some grass from the earth. If you live near the beach, you can also try to grip some sand with your bare feet; just make sure though that the sand is not extremely hot. Doing this on a regular basis will strengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet preparing them for any long hike you may take.
Proper Clothing and Footwear
When it comes to going on the trails you can never take the importance of proper clothing and footwear lightly. Keep in mind that your choice of clothing and footwear will serve as your protection against the elements. If you are not wearing adequate clothing to provide insulation against the cold, then this could lead to a number of unsavory situations that can put you in danger.
Footwear should be obvious; hiking boots. You cannot wear just any type of shoes when you go out on the trails simply because they will not give you the insulation, traction, and protection that you need. You may not know it, but hiking boots are designed for added protection and support for your ankles to minimize the risk of injuries and muscle fatigue among others.
Along with the proper choice of footwear should go the right selection of socks. It would go against common sense to trek (even in hiking boots) and not wear any socks. You are just opening yourself to infections, blisters, and frostbite among others.
When hitting the trails your socks should be in two layers. Wear synthetic socks first to prevent moisture and friction; put wool socks on top of these for added warmth, comfort, and to keep moisture away from your skin.
Take It Easy
Going on the trail is not a race that should be won. This means that you should keep at a steady pace and when possible, start slow and gradually build up the intensity. Is this your first time to hit the trail? Then the more you should be smart enough to keep the walks short and the terrain less difficult. Did you know that the most common cause of injury is poor physical conditioning?
There is no need to over exert yourself. Always keep in mind the stress and strain that your feet and ankles will be experiencing. Even if you are in excellent condition, there is no reason to overlook safety and common sense. Keeping everything in moderation will ensure that this will not be your last trail.
Know Your Body
Your body is constantly communicating with you; the important thing is to know how to listen to it. Usually, pain is the most common way that our body tells us something wrong is going on. Pain in your feet and ankles may mean that you need to rest a bit and give them time to breathe. Pushing through the pain can lead to sprain, tear, or potentially more serious injuries.
Foot Solutions has excellent and highly trained professionals that can fix you up with the proper footwear & foot support to use for all types of hiking adventure. Contact Foot Solutions today to hit that trail in a new level of comfort and style.