Hiking is a fantastic way to explore Colorado’s extensive networks of trails and outdoor open spaces and engage in physical activity.
Health benefits of hiking include:
- Cardiovascular endurance: Hiking is a form of aerobic activity that helps to increase heart health.
- Muscle strength: Hiking utilizes different muscles than walking on a flat road. It is a great way to build muscle mass. Varying terrain also helps to strengthen small muscles in your feet and ankles that may not be worked during everyday activity.
Here are a few important tips to remember when hiking:
- Start small. If you have not done much hiking, start with a short hike, such as 10-30 minutes. Then, as you continue to hike, gradually increase the amount of time. This can help you to get used to the terrain and to gradually become more comfortable on the trails.
- Get appropriate gear. To avoid injury, use sturdy shoes (hiking boots or tennis shoes) and avoid open-toe shoes (sandals).
- Use proper form. When going both uphill and downhill, try not to lean forward or backward. Keep your shoulders over your hips and stand up tall. This will help you to avoid injuries and to keep your airway open to provide oxygen to all of your muscles.
- Bring water. Remember to bring a water bottle with you while hiking- it is important to stay hydrated while out on the trails.
- Watch your step. Hiking trails may have rocks, branches, or other parts of nature in the trail. Make sure to be cautious and aware of these as you hike to avoid any falls or injuries.
Hiking is a great activity for people of all ages and can be made more or less challenging based on speed, distance, and terrain. Pick a trail, plan a hike, and enjoy the great outdoors!
Did You Know?
Colorado has thousands of miles of hiking trails. Check out www.trails.com to find hiking trails in your area!