Fall Hiking: Hiking Tips for Active Older Adults

As temperatures start to cool off more people tend to look for outdoor activities. Hiking can be a great way to exercise for people of all ages. Hiking helps to maintain health and fitness, see nature and enjoy sunshine!

There is no age limit on hiking! Many older adults hike well into their 70s and 80s. There’s no need to overthink hiking! A simple stroll around the neighborhood is a great way to start. However, planning ahead, proper equipment and listening to your body are all necessary to be successful.

Build Endurance

If you are new to hiking you will want to build up muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness. This can be done fairly easily by walking. Start by walking 10 minutes a day and slowly increasing your activity level. Alternatively, you can start with one lap around the neighborhood and progress to 2-3.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead to bring the proper equipment is important for a safe hiking trip. We recommend bring trekking poles to help with balance. Trekking poles are great on rocky terrain or to help keep balance when tired. In addition, good sneakers with grip and cushion are vital for a safe hike.

Supplies are needed to maintain energy levels. We recommend to bring a small snack such as a protein bar or trail mix to help keep energy and strength. Additionally, water is an absolute necessity for any hike.

Lastly, share your hike with a buddy! When hiking alone, make sure to let a friend or family member know where you will be hiking.

Listen to Your Body

Stretching is a good idea before any hike. Further, stretching will help decrease the risk of injury and decrease the chances of cramping on the trail. Furthermore, set your own pace. If hikers are breezing past you, it might be tempting to try to keep up. However, hiking is not a competition. Allow yourself rest time to refuel and catch your breath when needed. In fact, a rest break is a great time to enjoy the scenery and practice being mindful.

Happy hiking! Stay tuned for next weeks blog when we discuss the benefits of hiking!

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In fact, New Jersey has direct access that can get you in for evaluation without you having to see a doctor. In short, calling us directly can end up saving you both time and money!

Call us to schedule an evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700)  with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy or check us out on Instagram!