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HIKING HEALTH


Below are some tips that health professionals have shared with GHTC members to help us before, during, and after a hike:


What to Eat Before, During and After a Hike
Presented at GHTC Members Night 2011
by Lisa Armstrong, RD, Health and Performance Centre, University of Guelph

  • If you will be eating 2 - 3 hours before a hike, have a meal or snack consisting of protein and carbohydrates.
  • If you are eating less than 2 hours before a hike, eat carbohydrates.
  • If the hike will be an intense workout (equivalent to running for 90+ minutes), then avoid foods with fat (such as fries, wing, nuts, peanut butter, cheese, etc.) both before and during the hike.
  • If the hike lasts only a couple of hours it is not necessary to snack/eat on the hike.
  • On longer hikes, trail mix and water is a good snack.
  • Sports drinks are not necessary unless the hike is an intense workout (equivalent to a 90+ minute run).
  • If you will be vigorously exercising the next day, then eat a snack of carbohydrates with a bit of protein within 30 to 45 minutes after the hike. Otherwise normal, good eating patterns after the hike are fine for refueling the body.



Healthy Hints: Conditioning and Strengthening for Injury Prevention
Presented at GHTC Members Night 2013
by Dr. Sarah Farwell, DC, Dearborn Health Performance & Wellness Centre, New Hamburg

BEFORE YOUR HIKE:

  • Gradually increase fitness activities
  • Balanced fitness program:
    • Low impact cardio
    • Strength training
    • Stretching
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Minimize heel wear during the day
  • Strengthen tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior
    • Walk on heels, walk on toes (with or without weights)
  • Correct structural deformities of the foot with orthotics
  • Wear correctly fitting shoes for your activity, foot type and gait type:
    • ½ inch from great toe to end of shoe
    • Sturdy heel
    • Flexible toe box
  • Stay hydrated
  • Snug fitting clothing and socks
  • Use talc or cornstarch to stay dry, or alternately a lubricant
  • Stretch your calves, shins, hamstrings and quads before every hike


DURING YOUR HIKE:

  • Choose a softer walking surface
  • Warm up - walk at a slower pace to start!
  • Increase distance gradually - 10% mileage gain per week


AFTER YOUR HIKE:

  • Stretch your calves, shins, hamstrings and quads after every hike
  • Refuel with protein and carbohydrates
  • Stay hydrated!



Move More and Sit Less: Live Longer in Good Health
Presented at the 2012 Hike Ontario Summit
by Dr. Liana Nolan, MD, Medical Officer of Health for Waterloo Region

  • Walking at 3 mph is considered a "moderate" level physical activity; a minimum of 150 minutes/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity is needed to be considered "active".
    (For good health, bone and muscle strengthening activity is also required twice a week, and add balance enhancement activity if you are over age 65 and have poor mobility.)
  • Being active will add, on average, 2.4 years to your life.
  • Being active, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet will add 6.9 years to your life. If you also reduce stress and excessive alcohol consumption, you add an additional 1 - 2 years.
  • Active people have many more years free of disability compared to non-active people.