Hiking can be as simple as lacing up a pair of hiking boots or as complicated as packing up survival equipment and a backpack. Using poles on your hike makes your trek more enjoyable. Hiking poles will help your speed and stability on the trail. For people with joint problems, it can reduce the shock on your knees and ankles.
This summer, try pole hiking in the mountains. It is not only a mentally invigorating activity, but it also has numerous physical health benefits.
Head to the Mountains This Summer
Working out in the mountains is great for summer because the higher elevation is shadier and cooler. As you reach a higher altitude, you will notice a drop in temperature. In desert climates where typical summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees, outdoor workouts can be unbearable and dangerous. The temperature in the nearby mountains is generally 30 degrees lower and it would be much more comfortable to exercise in the beautiful scenery.
Exploring the mountains is a great way to work out your body. You should try power walking for a certain period of time and then resting. This creates natural intervals within your workout.
The Benefits of Using Poles When Hiking
Hiking poles come in a variety of sizes, types and materials. Hiking poles are essential for individuals with joint and muscle pain because it lessens the impact on your musculoskeletal system. For trekkers who do not experience joint or muscle pain, hiking poles have other benefits. Hiking without poles is a lower body workout that strengthens the legs, calves and glutes. Hikers without poles will swing their arms and thus uses the core muscles to move them forward. Using hiking poles distributes the workout to both the upper and lower body. You can gain muscle endurance in your arms and chest. Poles also promote quicker and smaller steps while your arms are pumping. Increased motion in the upper body increases your heart rate considerably. This is a great way to add intensity to a hike.
What to Try
You could take a healthy picnic up to the nearest mountains in your area and spread out near a steep incline. Relax and take in the beautiful scenery. When you are ready to explore you can use the steep incline to work out. Walk upward with your poles taking broad strong steps. Then, you can walk downward slowly allowing your body to recover. For an intense workout, you should try to do this at least ten times. This workout is similar to running up bleachers in a sports stadium, which is a moderately intense workout.
Know your body and figure out if you can handle more or less of these incline intervals.
More from Kathrine:
Kathrine played high school and collegiate soccer. Ever since then, she's always integrated fitness into her everyday life. She enjoys trying out new outdoor recreational activities during her spare time.