Do you love hiking? Well, this is one way to keep your mind engaged and your body active. It is fun, adventurous, and challenging as well. Hiking allows you to get out and about and enjoy seeing everything that nature has to offer — from rare creatures to the beautiful landscapes. A bonus to hiking today is that its a great way to get outside while keeping a social distance as we continue to reduce COVID-19 exposure.
However, just like many other physical activities, hiking can be rough on your body. Take care of your body by performing stretches for hikers before, during, as well as after the hike. Whether it’s your first time to go hiking or you are an expert, there are some stretches for hikers that you should do to warm up and cool down to ensure that your body keeps running smoothly and is ready to hit the trail. Let’s have a look at three recommended stretches for hikers.
Three Stretches For Hikers
No doubt that your arms will be moving while you are on the trail, so warm up those shoulders before you go. Even something as simple as swinging your arms back and forth will help to warm up your shoulders.
Stretch your shoulders by bending one arm over your head and down your back as the other arm goes around and up your back. Finally, grasp your fingertips and hold in this position for ten seconds. Repeat the procedure while you reverse the position of your arms.
A standing quadriceps stretch is easy to do anywhere, as long as you can keep your balance. This can easily be done at the trailhead or while on a break on the trail. If you have trouble balancing, use something for support. To do this stretch, stand on one foot and bend the knee of the opposite foot so that your foot goes up and back behind you. Grab the ankle of the back foot with your opposite hand and gently pull that foot toward you. Hold for 15-30 seconds and release. Then, switch to the other side.
This stretch helps the IT band and hamstrings. Begin this easy to do stretch by standing and crossing your right foot over the left one. Then lower the forehead toward the knees and bend your waist while keeping the knees in a straight position. Stay in this position for around 15-30 seconds. Go through the same procedure then with your left foot over the right foot.
Now that you have these easy stretches for hikers, are you ready to hit the trail? If an injury has sidelined you from hiking or any other of your favorite activities, the teams at our various Empower Physical Therapy locations are here to help. Visit our locations page to find an Empower Physical Therapy location near you. We also offer telehealth!