Now that winter is behind us, I am sure everyone is more eager to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Have you been thinking about getting back to some of your favorite hiking tracks or maybe set yourself some new running goals for spring. Well, there are some things you should consider before jumping up and getting into things.
If you have been more sedentary over winter or your schedule hasn’t allowed, you to be as active it is important to have a think about anything that may restrict you getting back out there.
There may be some underlying niggles that you haven’t thought of for a while. Prior to getting started think about your history of injuries and addressing ongoing problems before they impact on your function or get worse.
It is important to get a second opinion if you feel like you aren’t improving or need some advice. Working with one of our physios or podiatrists to assess any ongoing aches and pain, looking at your form and function or giving you some stretches/exercise to target those weaknesses.
Think about any specific braces or supports that you may need or feel more confident with. This may include ankle or knee supports.
If you have an old pair of sneakers, think about getting them updated and also making sure they are appropriate for the terrain. (Hiking – sturdy boots with good ankle support, thicker tread. Long distance running – cushioned footwear with good arch support).
If you are having ongoing foot/ankle/leg pain it would be worth getting a podiatry opinion and possible orthotic fitting.
It is important to ease back into things – depending on what you’ve been up to over winter you may need to start with lighter activity and progressively build your strength and endurance.
Start with smaller goals to then build up from. If you need to lower your pace then gradually progress things like your speed, intervals, distance, terrain.
Make sure to give yourself rest periods in between activity. It is important that your body recover from intense exercise.
Before you get going you should give yourself the best opportunity to succeed. This means not only preparing your gear but also your body. Thinking about fueling your body with nutritious food and hydration that will help you get through those longer journeys. Make sure you are well rested and giving enough time between when you were last active. You may want to include an active warm up/stretching before hand to get your muscles engaging. Check out and plan your route too, click here to find some good walking tracks to suit your level of fitness and experience.
Bring a pack!
There may be some things that you bring with you on longer hikes or runs. This important to keep you fuelled through this activity like more water or food. In case of an injury occurring while you are out it is important you have some way of contacting someone for help. You should also think about having some basic first aid supplies and possibly pain relief depending on the length of your hike/run.
Have fun hitting the hiking and running trails this spring.