Tips for hike

A few weeks ago, I asked the members of one of the hiking groups I joined on Facebook what are the most common aches and niggles they experience when hiking and walking long distances. Unsurprisingly, knees, feet (including Plantar Fasciitis) /ankles were the most popular options, followed by hips, shoulders, neck and lower back (and some very specific issues that I won’t discuss here 🙂 )
The whole conversation that originally generated the idea of the poll has been quite interesting. While a few hikers acknowledged how only a regular “maintenance”can help with this kind of issues on the long run, the majority of the suggestions evolved around better boots, better orthotics and “quick fixes” in general. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with that, especially when you have already started your walking day and even more so if you have more than one of them ahead.
With my “movement helper” cap on, my natural answer to these issues could only be “PILATES”! Pilates is truly fab and effective to maintain and fix your body so that it will support you whatever sports/activities you might enjoy doing. The vast majority of sports is based on repetitive movement patterns, which tend to recruit always the same set of muscles necessary to the specific task. Assuming that we flawlessly perform those movements with no imbalances of sorts and no postural habits whatsoever (this is a totally ideal and -frankly- unrealistic scenario), we might still incur some over use-related niggles. In real life, when we engage in sports and activities we bring our lifestyle postural habits into it and we might get more prone to injuries and aches.

On the short run, though, there is a number of simple exercises and stretches to help these specific areas that get a bit stressed and tested by our passion for hiking. I have put together a series of short videos, starting with some simple feet TLC, that you can check out here. I like to think that at the end (or before) an amazing day outdoor, we can dedicate 15 minutes to look after our body and give it back some of the incredible support it gives us.