If working out in a gym bores you to tears, you need to move your workout outside and hit a trail. Hiking is a great challenge for your heart and lower body, and you can do it with friends. If you've never been hiking in the Summer, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Head out for your hike first thing in the morning since the temperature will be cooler. Hiking in full sun is difficult and could lead to heat exhaustion.
- Bring along a backpack or lumbar pack and make sure you have tons of cold water. Pack an extra long-sleeve layer just in case. Snacks or sandwiches are a good idea, too, if you're planning on being out for a few hours or more.
- Lube yourself up with sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you head out. Keep the bottle in a Ziploc bag in your pack, and reapply at least every two hours.
- If the trail you're hiking is woodsy, pack some bug spray. Dealing with swarming mosquitoes while trekking through the woods is unbearable. Plus bug spray will also keep away ticks and spiders.
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- Wear real shoes that have rugged soles. Hiking boots are best since they'll support your ankles, but trail running shoes will work too. I'd avoid strappy sandals since they won't offer much protection against sticks, little pebbles, bugs, or poison ivy.
- Your clothes should be lightweight and comfortable. Since you'll be sweating a lot, they should be made out of some kind of wicking material.
- Use a trekking pole to help you tackle the inclines and declines. If you don't hike very often, a long sturdy stick will work just as well.