Health Tips – How to Prepare for Hiking

While hiking is a low impact sport – an activity that doesn’t over stress the joints and body – it can provide a great cardiovascular work-out when you hike at the right speed and duration. Follow these tips and you will be ready to book your hike up Camelback Mountain very soon!

  • If you have a Heart Condition, Hypertension, Asthma, joint problems, or other health issues, please consult a Doctor before you start training.
  • Know your abilities; limits are easy to find! If you are leading a very sedentary life then start off gradually. Aim for half a mile in about 15 minutes the first day, building up to 3 miles per hour over the next 2 – 3 weeks. Hike daily , with a rest day every 3 or 4 days. Make sure you are conditioned before attempting a long hike.
  • Check your posture as you walk. This will help to strengthen your bones and muscles especially if you are carrying a backpack.
  • Take care of your muscles! Warm up gradually and build up muscle strength and endurance.  If you over-do things, there is an increased chance of injury. Training should be slow and steady. Listen to your body – there is a difference between pushing yourself to the limit, and over doing it!
  • Proper hydration is essential. A good guideline is to drink 2 glasses of fluid, every 2 hours before the hike begins. During your hike, try to drink 1/2 to 1 quart every hour. Water is fine, but if your hike is over an hour long consider bringing some diluted fruit juice or sports drinks. These will give you carbohydrates for energy and help replace lost minerals. Increase your fluid intake in warm or hot conditions.
  • Take a 10 minute break every hour. Eat some trail mix, dried fruit or salty snack. Eat before you get hungry, and drink before you get thirsty!
  • Watch your oxygen intake. If you are huffing and puffing along then you are probably not getting enough oxygen. Ideally you should be able to talk as you walk along. As your heart rate gets faster, your body becomes more efficient at pumping oxygen and blood around your body. This improves with regular training.
  • Help avoid injury by wearing the right clothes and boots. Strong hiking boots with good socks prevent blisters. Fingerless gloves can protect the hands against cuts and grazes. On a long hike, bring a change of socks and clothing that can be layered. If the weather is changeable then pack rain gear. Wear a hat and sunscreen.
  • Carry a small first aid kit containing antiseptic wipes, bandages, tweezers, and moleskin.
  • Be mentally prepared. If hiking alone, make sure someone knows your route and what time you aim to be back. Could you cope if you fall, twist an ankle, or meet some wildlife? Consider hiking with a friend.

Whether you are an experienced hiker planning a week long trek, or a beginner going on your first five mile hike, to optimize the experience you need to plan ahead!

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

Call For Care Now

Speak directly with one of our highly trained Board Certified Emergency Physicians.


REQUEST CARE

10AM-9PM
480-948-0102



AFTER HOURS

480-493-5100



Follow Us

Check us out on our social media.



Copyright Dr. Housecalls of Paradise Valley 2019. All rights reserved.