Gabriela Menyhart
May 20th, 2013

Hikes, health and pain free fun!

Snow is melting and going prepared for the outdoors is worth it.

Enjoying the outdoors!

The time to get out and put on our hiking shoes have arrived but do you know what you can do to avoid or minimize sore muscles, stiff joints and blistered feet?  A few little tips to help make sure the only thing you bring home are beautiful pictures and not sore shoulders.  



Blister free feet!


Right hiking shoes.
This is the first and most important step you can make to avoid blisters.  First don't pick your boots based on the fanciest, most expensive model but instead pick the most comfortable shoes.  Wear them at home and on short walks to break the shoes in before long trips always.  Don't be surprised if it takes a couple hikes before they are really comfortable

Socks/Moleskin
Avoid wearing cotton socks and instead use socks from natural fibers.  Some people also try wearing two pairs of socks with the inner sock being a liner.  You can also purchase moleskin to protect areas that are prone to friction.
REI video on liner socks.


Happy knees!


Poles
If you have never used trekking poles you don't realise the amount of force they absorb and save from stressing your knee joints.  Apparently trekking poles can ake between 10 & 18 pounds off the lower body with each stride.  The slight extra strain on your upper body is worth it.

Here is an article on Mountain Equipment Co-op that talks about trekking poles:

MEC Knee article

Exercises
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of reasons.  Imbalance in weak/tight leg muscles, uneven gait and arthritis.  If you have arthritis it is hard to completely get knee pain relief but remember to put cold on your knees at the end of the hike to diminish swelling.  Here is a page on Livestrong that gives some great exercises to avoid knee pain from an imbalance in quadricep tightness.
Knee exercise tips

Happy Spine



Yoga Moves
Even if you are not a fan of yoga don't worry these are easy moves you can do without having to be in a studio to help keep your back loose and decrease muscle soreness.

Cat/Cow:  like a cat you are on the ground on your knees and hands.  Breath in and lift your head up, arch your back down and your tail bone up in the air.  Reverse by breathing out, bring your head down, round your back up and curl your tail bone to the ground.  

Pigeon pose:  this ia a difficult pose to describe.  This pose really helps with opening up tight hips and is beneficial to do before and after a hike.  If your hips are tight it can easily pull into your back and cause your back to go out.  Here is a link to see the pigeon pose.

Moist Heat
Sore muscles prefer heat (cold is for inflammation) but a lot of people don't realise there is a difference between dry and moist heat.  Dry heat from say a hot water bottle is emanates warmth but it doesn't go deep into the body of the muscle.  Warm baths, showers, moist heat packs will give you more pain relief.  


Need more tips?  Email me any questions you have!

Hope you have a happy, healthy outdoors experience!
Gabriela Menyhart RMT


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My hope is to not only share my massage treatments with you but the incredible body of support out there for your whole being.
Gabriela Menyhart, RMT