Hiking and Chiropractic
With summer finally here, hikers will be taking on their favorite rocky trails. Even the most experienced hiker knows the unexpected can happen out there on the trails, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. That means anything from having the right gear and knowing how to properly use it to proper hiking technique. Even visiting your trusted chiropractor for adjustments is an excellent way to prepare your body for intense hiking! Just like any other physical activity where you need to be properly equipped both literally and mentally, hiking is no different.
First Consider an Adjustment
Is your body feeling “off” in some way? Perhaps you notice a stiff back, limited range of motion, or joint pain. If you’re an avid hiker, you know that these issues are a possible recipe for disaster on the trails. Hiking requires excellent strength and balance, both of which are greatly affected by misalignment or subluxations in the body. Consider visiting your experienced chiropractor for an adjustment before a big hiking trip. Consistent adjustments promote optimal body function, such as: making sure your body is aligned as best as possible, improving coordination, flexibility, and balance, eliminating joint pressure, and assisting the nervous system.
Since hiking causes stress to your joints and hips, it’s important that you equip yourself with the right gear. Injuries on the trails are easily prevented this way.
-Hiking boots: Choosing the right shoes will significantly improve your hike. Invest in quality hiking boots with grip and tread, solid ankle support, comfortable cushioning, proper arch support, and ample room for your toes. This is a must have and one of the easiest ways to prevent injury on the trails.
-Backpack: It is vital you choose a backpack that comfortably conforms to your body. You also want to evenly disperse the weight in your pack so that the strain is applied more to the hips rather than the shoulders. Heavy items should be placed in the middle of your pack, closer to your center of gravity, which helps with balance and stability on your hike.
-Walking stick: Trekking poles significantly help with your stability. Avoid stumbles or falls that may damage your joints and muscles, throwing your body out of alignment, by using a sturdy walking stick. They even assist with an upper body workout!
Other Preventative Tips
-Warming up: Engaging your body in warmup exercises before an extensive hike will help prevent injuries as well. Warming up your body improves performance on the trail!
-Buddy system: It’s always best to hike with a buddy. Just in case an injury does happen, you will have someone there to assist you with first aid or call for help if the injury is serious.
-Don’t overdo it: Always know your limitations. With any exercise, it’s better to start out small and work your way up to something more challenging.
Benefits of Combining Chiropractic Treatment and Hiking
Hiking is a great way to keep your body in shape. When you incorporate consistent chiropractic treatment, however, you are truly setting your body up to function at its optimal level. Your spine absorbs constant force from the repetition of walking on trails and avoiding obstacles in your path. With chiropractic adjustments that promote good alignment of your body, your spine and hips properly absorb this force. Since hiking can be tough on the joints and spine, it’s important to do all you can to protect them!