The Best Stretches to do before Hiking
Hiking is a wonderfully strenuous activity. Not only does it stretch your mind to places of calm and relaxation but it also gives your body the workout it needs. Even though you might be incredibly fit and a more than occasional hiker, you should still never skip the stretches before you decide to hit the trail.
When you skip the all-important muscle workout, causing yourself an injury is a very real possibility. Muscle strains when out on a hiking trail can spell disaster for your trip, especially if the strain is more serious than you thought and as such puts an abrupt end to your weekend away.
Stretching is not the only thing that you can do to prevent muscle aches and pains. Packing the right foots and making sure that you have more than enough water with you to ensure that you stay completely hydrated when hiking, is all just as important as your stretches.
Taking a few minutes to do a warm up will be something you will only appreciate later should you end up regretting skipping this step.
The Best Stretches
Now this is not at all complicated. You don’t need to be a professional to do these stretches and it won’t cut into your trip. In fact, these stretches should only take up a few minutes of your time.
- Shoulder rolls
Starting from the top, make sure that you stand up straight but that you are completely relaxed. Move your feet apart at shoulder length and rotate your shoulders forward in big circles and then backwards. Do each for 15 seconds.
- Hamstring stretch
One of the first things that you can strain when on a hike is the hamstring. So, while standing, bend your left leg a little and extend your right. Move your hips forward until you feel your outstretched leg is, well, stretching. Then hold the position for 20 seconds, before you repeat the motion with your other leg. While doing this, you can place your hands on your outstretched leg or on your hips.
- Calf stretch
Another part of the body that can be hurt when hiking is the calf muscle. Stand in front of a tree or a wall and take a step back with your right foot. Make sure that your toes are pointed towards the tree and then lean forward and put your hands on the trunk. Now bend your left leg forward and hold the position for about 30 seconds. You should then repeat the movement with your other leg.
Stand with your feet about hip length apart and left your right leg back and bring your heel up. Take hold of your right foot with your right hand and then, with your other leg straight, hold the position for 30 seconds. You can then do the same thing with your other leg.
Remember that when you are stretching you should never overdo it to the point that you feel pain. Overdoing a stretch can do more harm than good.
If you are keen on going hiking in Mpumalanga, you should consider booking a trip to Bermanzi.