People hiking

5 Tips For Beginner Day Hikers

Hiking is one of the most rewarding low-impact workouts. In fact, there is a lot of research pointing to the physical and mental benefits of hiking. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, hiking has several benefits for managing stress and anxiety as well.

While sports and physical activity in general is deemed beneficial for preventing health issues, walking on a treadmill can often get monotonous. Hiking, on the other hand is far more interactive for it provides hikers with often exciting and unpredictable challenges that make it seem like an enjoyable adventure instead of a boring chore!

If you’re a beginner hiker, here are a few tips to help you get prepared for your first trek!

Start Small

First time hikers often underestimate the level of fitness that hiking requires. To feel encouraged to take up your first challenge, assess a hiking trail that matches your fitness level. Choose a hiking trail that covers a shorter distance than you are normally used to walking. Estimate the time you’ll need to complete the trail and back and approximate a speed of 2 miles per hour. Add an hour to your estimated time based on how challenging the trail is.

Know The Trail

Once you have chosen the trail, get a map and gather some reviews of the trail. These resources are often easily available online. Stay on the lookout for any areas where you may accidentally take a wrong turn, if the trail is a loop or if you’ll need to backtrack to navigate your way back to the bottom. Another important aspect to look out for is a good lunch spot, by a lake or a peak with a scenic view.

map

Run A Weather Check

On the days leading up to the hike, keep a track of the weather, to ensure that you are dressed and packed appropriately. If the weather is forecasted to be tumultuous, it’s better to schedule your hike for another day than to meet challenges that may be difficult or life-threatening.

Tell A Loved One Where You’ll Be

This is something that not just beginners but expert hikers need to do as well. Before expediting on your hike, ensure that you have informed someone where you’ll be, how long you’ll be there and when they should expect you to be back. Note that you should allow yourself a couple of hours above the time that it would take for you to complete the hike. Let your loved one know to not worry unless you’ve been due for more than a few hours.

Go With A Group

For beginners, it’s always a good idea to expedite on your first hike with a group instead of taking it on their own. With a group in place, you won’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn and being lost or left alone to seek help in case you hurt an ankle.

If you’re in Boulder, Colorado and looking for popular attractions and the best places to visit in the city, check out Travel Boulder’s Ultimate Guide around the city. From popular neighborhoods to the best places to shop in Boulder, Travel Boulder is your ultimate guide!

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