Essential Hiking Tips For Beginners

You get a lot from hiking. Not only that you get to explore the outdoors, but you also get to exercise  your muscles without ever feeling restricted like when you are in the gym or inside the house doing some routine exercises. It’s also fun and exciting. The excitement gets even more striking when something unlikely happens. You just have to thank mother nature for that as she can have some uncanny ways to shake things at times. But if you come out to hike well prepared, you won’t be so stressed even if nature will have its way. Don’t forget the best water bottles for hiking as it could give you more than just the refreshment that you may need from time to time while on a hike.

If you plan to have your very first hike, don’t be so intimidated. Everyone experiences a first time. As long as you know how to walk, know where you are, and have everything that you need to last the trek, there is no need to worry. Just pace yourself and enjoy what nature has in store for you. You’ll get a good workout doing it, and you’ll end up feeling better than the time you began. After a couple more hikes, you’ll get used to the terrain and you’ll soon think of finding a more challenging route.

Until then, you’ll just have to get used to the first track that you have set yourself to finish. Don’t forget this guide as well. This will provide you with the essential hiking tips that will help you make your first hike safe while having the fun that you want from a good hike.

Pick the right hike that you will enjoy

Pack the right hiking gear

Don’t stress yourself when it is still your first try to hike. Choose a trail that will just be appropriate to your fitness level. Don’t pick one that is just too long or one that requires a lot of climbing when you haven’t been doing much exercise even at home. If you plan to take a longer hike, then you have to train in advance. You need to undergo endurance and strength training as these are what a more challenging hike will require.

Don’t forget to check the total climbing that you will do on your hike. Remember that walking a certain length will require less effort than if you would have to walk uphill at the same distance. A study conducted at the University of Michigan will best prove this claim.

If you are uncertain where to head for your first hike, you can visit several websites and apps like Peakfinder, The Map My Hike App, Maps 3D Pro App, Alltrails, and more to find many beginner-friendly trails and trail guides. If you prefer a physical book to read, you can just head over your local library for some of the great hiking guidebooks that can help you plan your first hike.

You need to be familiar with the hike, so check as much information about the trail before finally deciding to go. Find a good trail guide to know what to expect if there are any intersections, the turns (if there is any), spots where you can dine or settle for the night (if you are planning to stay overnight in between hikes), and so on. Make sure you have a good idea what is in store for you at the trail site.

Pack the right hiking gear

There are so many options online and even on your local store. Just make sure that when you pack the things that you need to bring, find the lightest of the item to pack. You can have all the essentials inside your backpack but if you have the heaviest of each item, you’ll probably the hike will probably take twice as much time than it should.

The things that you should bring should not only be light, but they should also be right for the hike. Put on and bring extra clothes that will ensure that any part of your body won’t get scraped if ever you brush off with some bushes along the trail.

Wearing the right footwear is also a must. Find a good pair of sneakers or trail runners that won’t be hard on your feet and would also give your feet the much-needed support throughout the hike. It is also worth remembering that blisters and bruises may just be part of the hike. It is best that you have some dressing and first-aid medication just in case.

Another essential item to bring is water. Keep your beverage in one of the best water bottles for hiking such as the Glacier Point Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. This can keep  your beverage  hot or cold for 12 or 24 hours, respectively. It’s one tough battle for a tough hike.

Set the right time for the hike

Avoid the rush and the crowd. Start your hike as early as possible. This way your body is still fully charged and you’ll have a smaller crowd to compete with if you are planning to hike to a place that’s a common destination.

You will also need to check the weather condition a couple of times before proceeding to the trail. Give the park office a call just before you leave as well just to make sure that you won’t be going for a hike when there is a storm. Giving them a call will also let you know if the trail is really open for hikers that day. Don’t end up wasting your time if you don’t.

Check if you need papers for the trail

You need to do your homework. There are some trails that require a permit, so make sure you have the necessary documents before proceeding. If you’re not quite sure whether you will need one on your next hike, contact the park office to clear things up.

Let someone else know about your hike

It can be as simple as texting a friend or a colleague where you will be hiking and when you are expected to be back. If you find the social media a better option, then, by all means, do so. Just make sure you let someone else what’s going on where you are heading. This is the easiest way to make sure that you can be found in case an unforeseen event happens.

Hike to enjoy not to race

How can you enjoy and spot all the natural beauty if you are in a rush? Hike at a comfortable pace that will allow you to spot the unusual wildlife that may be present in the area. Don’t use up much of your energy when you are just starting off. Save your energy for some of the more challenging climbs during the hike.

Watch where you are walking

There may be insects and reptiles along the trail that you may unintentionally step on. Make sure to pay attention to your feet. You also need to watch out for any slippery road, rock, or roots that may cause your foot to slip, twist, or trip.

Think you are lost? STOP

The first thing you need to do if you think that you have lost your way is to STOP. Check your map or your guide to see if there is anything that looks familiar in the spot where you are at the moment. If you can’t find anything similar, backtrack until what you see around you may be what you have seen or are seeing in the guide that you are using.

But if you still can’t recognize anything, check if you can get a signal and call or text the emergency numbers. You may refer to this list of emergency numbers around the world.

Learn to hike by the rules

There are some hiking etiquettes that you need to follow when hiking. For instance, a hiker going up a hill has the right of way, so if you are on an even ground, you have to make way for the other hiker pass. Not leaving a trace on the trail is another thing that you should remember. Keep the place clean and safe for other hikers to enjoy more of the scene and worry less.

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have other suggestions on how to make the first hike a better one? Share your thoughts in the comments’ section below.

Hydration Myths Busted

Even with the constant reminder that everyone hears, studies still show that there are more that are chronically dehydrated every day. Studies show that about 75% of Americans are getting below the recommended level. As time passes by, chronic dehydration will result in health complications that can affect a person’s overall efficiency and health condition.

It is always crucial that you remind yourself to have an adequate water intake.

Your body needs water to keep it running every function that it needs to accomplish throughout the day, without pausing. Even while you sleep, everything inside you is performing its function to sustain life.

What does water do for the body?

H.H. Mitchell, one of the authors of the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, expressed that our brain and our heart are composed of 73% water. The lungs are about 83% water, on the other hand. The skin, which is the largest organ of the body, contains 64% water. Our muscles and kidneys have about 79% water. Our bones are also watery. They are made up of about 31% water.

Water helps every system of the body in so many ways:

  • With enough water in the body, the cells can grow, reproduce, and survive.
  • It helps move oxygen and nutrients to the different parts of the body.
  • Water regulates internal body temperature through sweat and respiration
  • It acts as a shock absorber for the brain and the spinal cord.
  • It helps the kidneys and the liver to flush out wastes from the body.
  • Water lubricates the joints.

Unfortunately, when it comes to getting your body the simplest thing that it needs to survive and function properly, many falls short. But there shouldn’t be any reason that you can’t. There are so many variations of the best water bottles for gym that you can bring with you whether you are just out for an early morning or after work run, or if you are headed out for the gym to do your workout routine.

On that note, you also need to consider the most common hydration myths. It is best that you also remind yourself of these so that you will be filling up for better health.

Myth #1: Caffeine is dehydrating.

Some like coffee; others don’t. Whether you are on the positive side of drinking coffee or otherwise, it is best to note that your coffee can boost your hydration levels. Many experts have believed for some time that caffeine acts as a diuretic to dehydrate the body. However, Dr. Daniel Vigil, an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, explains that your coffee contains water and your body is also able to absorb much of the fluid.

It is also important to note that coffee has more benefits than you may actually think. Here are some of the recent findings related to this.

Drinking coffee can delay the onset of pain

That means if you have been doing strenuous exercises for a long period, drinking coffee can cut any muscle pain that you may experience.

It increases your fiber intake

A cup of coffee adds up to 1.8 grams of fiber to what you may or will consume for the day.

Drinking coffee will increase your stamina and overall health

Aside from keeping you mentally and physically alert, coffee is found to provide better health. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that those who drink coffee are less likely to die from health issues like cancer and heart diseases, hence can promote a longer lifespan.

You need to drink eight 8 ounces of water every day

There are so many factors that contribute to the amount of water that we need to take every day. These include your age, sex, activity, location, overall health condition, as well as the changes in these factors. On top of these is the fact that all of the food items that we consume also contain some water in them, and we also drink other beverages that contain water. On average, the food that we take provides about 20% of the fluid that our body needs.

If you are not thirsty you are well hydrated

You know a person who is dehydrated by their looks and their gaits. However, the realization that a person is already dehydrated only sets in when they are dehydrated in about 2 to 3 percent of their body weight. The body’s biological thirst mechanisms tend also become faulty with age. Hence, those who are older may not have an appropriate hydration gauge.

While your urine can be a great guide when determining your hydration level, it’s important to remember that everything that you take (including medications and supplements) can influence your urine color.

According to Stavros Kavouras, director of the Hydration Science Lab at the University of Arkansas, expressed that thirst alone is not a good indicator of hydration level. “Drinking only to thirst typically leads to significant dehydration, which is associated with exercise performance impairment,” he impressed. “For optimal performance, competitive athletes should develop their own individualized hydration protocol to best address their fluid needs during exercise.”

It’s better to drink more water

If you fill your tank with more than it actually needs, you can dilute the concentrations of electrolytes in your blood. This can result in a critical condition called hyponatremia, or low blood levels of sodium. Some untimely deaths have occurred as a result of this. Here is another case attributed to overhydration.

While these tragedies are not common, acute water toxicity can occur when anyone drinks excessively more fluid than the body can excrete in a given period.

Sports Drinks are a better fluid replacement

Sports drinks provide electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate, and chloride) that the body needs to combat fatigue, nausea, headache, and impaired muscle function as a result of intense activities. However, they also contain simple sugars and calories that are meant to keep the body primed with energy.

Downing a sports drink when you are not really doing anything much or just going through light exercises will eventually make you gain, instead than lose, weight.

So, there you go, if you need to drink up, drink up smartly. Bring with you the best water bottles for gym so you can do your workouts, whether intensive or just regular simple routines and hydrate to be at your best at all times.

What is Stretch Marks?

Those ugly stretch marks can keep you from making the most out of your pregnancy. Yes, it could be a tough time. You have to hurdle a lot of challenges, especially the physical manifestations of your condition. However, you cannot deny the fact that with the excitement that a new baby coming brings to the whole family, you have many reasons to be more than grateful for the gift of life that you have inside your womb.

Stretch Marks

Another good reason to be grateful for is the fact that those stretch marks come and go away with pregnancy. Actually, you can have them removed, if not concealed (during the first few weeks) even while you still have your baby on your tummy. There are so many effective products available, like pregnancy soaps, organic concealer, oils, and stretch marks cream that can help you manage, even remove the traces of those unsightly pregnancy marks.

Whatever it is that may keep you from enjoying your pregnancy always has a solution. Remember you are not the first or the only one experiencing pregnancy at the moment. Every second a baby is conceived, every split-second, a woman starts her journey to motherhood. What you need to focus on is how to have that healthy mindset to support a healthy pregnancy. Allowing yourself to be dragged by the thoughts of an unattractive body, pain during pregnancy, sleepless nights, and so on, will just make it more difficult for you and your baby.

Help is on the way

Yours is not a hopeless case. You always have significant others, pregnancy experts, beauty experts as well as other mothers to turn to for the support you need. It is always a smart move to ask the opinions and advice of those who are experts in the subject. Instead of worrying, you have to focus on how to take care of your body and your baby properly.

We understand it is difficult not to notice the physical changes. After all, it when you first observed the changes/problems that you start to think about and look for solutions to your predicament. However, as humans, we could not help to react first before we respond to a stimulus (in this case the sight of the stretch marks lining up your belly). You may not be aware of it, however, but as soon as you let your emotions rule over your intellect, you will feel more troubled about your condition. This will lead to more emotional concerns sooner.

These are the things that you need to do, instead.

It is a good thing that you found the perfect spot where you can start the healing process for your skin problem. To apply the stretch marks cream, remove all unnecessary products that you already have on your beauty essentials first. Inspect the skin care products that you have been using any harmful ingredients.

stretch marks treatment

Most of the time, we are just too concerned to just get rid of the problem right away, so we end up picking the product that seems to be getting the most favored by other users. Remember that your skin is more susceptible now that you have a baby in your womb who may ingest the chemicals present in any product you use through your bloodstream. Checking the label takes only a few minutes, but its effect may be for a lifetime.

If after inspection you are still unsure of some of the ingredients printed on the product label, do not hesitate to ask your doctor. If you have already used the product, take note of the number of times you have used it and the skin reactions that you notice. This will help your doctor to provide a better assessment and the right prescription for your condition.

Once you have identified the right product that you can use to treat your stretch marks, make sure that you follow the instructions on the product label to ensure that you will see the results soon. Most of the times, stretch marks make your belly so itchy as the skin underneath are stretched to the point of breaking while your baby grows inside your tummy. You may be tempted to scratch your belly which can cause more unsightly marks on it. If you feel the urge to do so, don’t.

Keep your skin moisturized with some cream and wear comfortable fitting clothes. If you feel like taking a refreshing shower, use warm but not hot water. You can also wear cotton gloves to protect your skin while you are sleeping and you don’t know when your hands involuntarily react to the itch.

If you experience severe itching, however, it may be time to see your doctor again.

Run After Pregnancy

Establishing a post-baby “normal” lifestyle can be a bit of a challenge especially for new moms. It is possible but really tough. To snap back from pregnancy and regain that svelte body that you have during your pre-baby life takes commitment and a lot of discipline. You may feel like you just don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror again. You may also reason that you also need to address a lot of physical challenges after delivering your baby, as well as to post-partum depression.

We understand your situation. We are pretty sure that you are well aware of the benefits of doing some form of exercise (like running) can do for you even then. Your doctor might have also told you that it will boost your energy. Toxins go out of your body as you perspire. It also helps melt stubborn fats that have accumulated during your pregnancy. It gives you a refreshing feeling and makes it easier for you to feel relaxed and calm. You will notice that as your mind relaxes, it will be easier for your body to feel naturally peaceful throughout the day. It is also a good way to tone down your muscles and regain the curves that you once have.

It will also help if you consider your pregnancy skin care routine. As you might have observed, there are several changes not only in your mood, diet but also in your physical appearance that may de-motivate you from wearing exercise outfits and hit the road to go back running. You have seen hideous marks (acne, melanoma, pimples, stretch marks, varicose veins, and a whole lot more skin, hair and nail problems) with your pregnancy. They also don’t just leave you right after pregnancy.

Fortunately, there are so many available treatments for a stretch mark, for pregnancy is known to be a problematic phase in the life of a woman. If you are able to treat the skin problems that came together with your pregnancy, you will be more confident to get out and start running again. With so many other reasons already mentioned, you will soon get off your feet and get your running gears again.

You can do it!

As many celebrity moms have shown that though it may be a challenging bout, it can be done, you too can also do it. You can run after pregnancy and get back into your previous shape in no time. It is just a matter of mental conditioning. Remember, however, that you cannot do it at once and push your body to the limit. It will put your health and your body at risk. No crash diet or stringent exercise will be able to bring back the hourglass figure that you once boast of. If you do, you might just end up gaining twice on the weight you already gained, instead.

Enough is enough!

Your body has taken so much while you were still heavy with your baby. It took a while before you got fully adjusted to the bulge in your tummy, or to the erratic mood swings that you observed while waiting for your baby to be delivered. It was quite an ordeal. Even then, you had to accept that those changes were normal. And just like after delivering your first baby, you fully understand then that you will get used to pregnancy challenges. And you did.

You were able to incorporate the right physical, mental, social, as well as psychological exercises that made child-bearing a lot more enjoyable. You found more reasons to enjoy the journey than complain about what you think you were missing out of life. Then, your baby bump becomes your new reason for an exciting journey. Today, the marks left behind by your pregnancy also becomes your new reasons to be fit and healthy.

Running after pregnancy is one of the best ways to regain the confidence you once had. However, you can not just do it too soon or you can end up hurting yourself. The best way to determine if you are ready to go back to running is to listen to your body. If you feel anything unusual in your body after your first try, like if you feel worse, it means your body is not yet ready. You will also need to consult with your doctor. Ask your physician on what to expect as your body recovers from your pregnancy.

To be sure to ease back into running after pregnancy, consider these helpful tips

  • Determine the best time to start running. Your new baby may need you round the clock, and it may be difficult to squeeze in an hour or so in your already busy schedule. However, setting a schedule will help you be more determined to reach your goal (go back to running or whatever exercise you do to be fit). It will give you more control over your life. Setting the time, intervals, as well as the rest (for sure there will be a time that your baby will be taking some naps or enjoying time with other people in the house), will help you determine the best time you can incorporate your goal.
  • Don’t be too hard or yourself. You can’t get rid of that accumulated fat overnight, what made you think you can back to your usual routine on day one? Your stitches need to heal, your body needs to recover, and your baby needs most of your time especially during the first few weeks of the child’s life. Take care of yourself and your baby first until you are totally ready to start to reach your goal.
  • Two is better than one. Once your body is totally ready to go back into running, you can bring your baby along. Both of you will enjoy the fresh air and be supplied with Vitamin D that your bodies need. You can also use your baby’s stroller as a support when you need to rest from running.
  • Make running something to look forward to. Participating in an event will allow you to be more excited to engage in the activity. You can check online or on social media for any running-related event that is soon to be done near you. Have fun and enjoy the run.
  • Do cross training. As you wait for your body to adjust to your postpartum activities, consider other activities that seem enjoyable. You may need to consult your doctor if you can actually do and when to do the exercise, however.
  • Any postnatal experience that you may want to share with our readers is most welcome.

Pregnancy Acne Products

Pregnancy may cause an acne-prone skin to see a worsening of the condition. However, being pregnant cannot be the sole indicator if one will have a skin flare up or not. Many still claim that they experience less of the phenomenon, so it is really difficult to tell. Needless to say, if you plan to get pregnant or are even in the early phase of pregnancy, you need to make sure you are well acquainted with how to maintain a healthy skin. If you already have, at least know how to manage the condition without harming the baby inside your womb.

What causes acne?

During this crucial period of your life, your body experiences an elevated hormone level. The particular hormone that is said to trigger an acne breakout is called an androgen. As the hormone level increases, the skin secretes more sebum through the sebaceous glands. Sebum, which is an oily substance, combine with the dead skin cells found on your hair follicles and block the pores of your skin. This area becomes a perfect space for toxins and bacteria to multiply. Inflammation soon folows then advances to become a flare out.

Is there a specific period of the pregnancy when acne can seem to occur?

Pregnancy, as well as skin experts, indicate that there is no specific time when acne and acne flare-up may occur. The degree of the condition may also be different with each woman and in any of the pregnancy phase. It goes without saying that any expecting mom needs to be totally prepared just in case the condition starts to appear or worsen.

Acne During Pregnancy

Having any skin imperfection can take away the joy of pregnancy in most women. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can do to manage the skin problem, even prevent it from appearing.

There pregnancy acne products available that you can use to address acne build-up. However, you should always be careful with the products that you choose to treat your condition. Always take note of any unnecessary and harmful ingredients that may be hiding in the contents of every product container that you see on the shelf.

You also need to consider these simple skin tips to make sure that your skin will be free from any bacteria build-up that may cause your skin to flare up:

  • Use a mild soap to wash off your face and body twice a day.
  • Use your hands to clean your skin thoroughly. Scrubbing is never advisable as it may irritate the skin and worsen the condition.
  • Pat your skin to dry instead of rubbing it with a towel or cloth.
  • Use a gentle moisturizer that is oil-free to prevent toxins from clogging the pores of your skin.
  • Don’t try pop or squeeze out whatever deposit you see on the pores of your skin. Doing so will just aggravate the condition.
  • If you would try to conceal the acne building up on your face or on any part of your skin, make sure that you pick only those products that are water-based. Oil-based products may clog your skin pores. If the label says, “noncomedogenic”, it is safe.
  • Don’t let your face be a breeding ground of bacteria and toxins. Remove any trace of make up on your skin before you go to bed.
  • If you are still confused whether to use or not to use a specific product, or whether to use a combination of products, always consult your doctor.
  • Hydrate regularly. Drink sufficient amount of water to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Ask your physician for an exercise routine you can do to flush out toxins lurking underneath your skin through perspiration.
  • For severe conditions, consult your physician for the right oral medication you may need to take to treat the skin problem.
  • Eat the right food.
  • Have enough rest.
  • Enjoy your pregnancy. There were be a lot of setbacks during this period. The best approach to ensure a happy one is to have a joyful disposition at all times.
  • Talk to your significant other. Allowing your partner to take an active participation in addressing emotional burden will make you feel better. Later on, you may even forget about it.

It may take a while before you can fully adjust to your current condition. Stay calm. Remember that all these unnatural conditions normally goes away once the baby is born. Always look at the bright side. It will make the journey to pregnancy easier.

Runner & Healthy