Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Hiking is a great physical activity to add to your routine. The best part about it is that it often doesn’t feel like a “workout” because you get to enjoy nature and potentially socialize with a group. However, depending on where you hike, it can be taxing on your body – especially if it’s of long duration or high altitude. Additionally, if you’re hiking in a “hilly” area, this can really increase the intensity of the activity.
Fueling your body properly, not only the day of but also the day before you take a hike is very important. Perhaps the most important step to take before and during a hike is proper hydration. Before you venture off, drink a cup or two of water, and don’t forget to take a water bottle with you. While you’re hiking, it may be beneficial to drink up to 32 ounces of water every couple of miles, give or take. The amount you need to drink will always depend on the intensity of the hike and the weather. A rule of thumb is to just keep sipping as you go. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, as this often means you’re already dehydrated!
As far as what to eat before and during a hike: balance is key! Before going on a hike, you’ll want to eat a substantial meal that contains some healthy carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat to keep you full. Whole-grain toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, or scrambled eggs with veggies are excellent pre-hike options. Don’t forget to pack snacks! It can be tempting to bring convenient junk foods along with you. Although these are OK in moderation, it’s essential that you have some nutrient-dense snacks to grub on. These will provide your body with the nourishment it needs to keep going and will also help your muscles recover from the hike more quickly. Some healthy snack options for hiking include trail mix, nuts and seeds, peanut butter, crackers, cheese, whole-grain tortillas, beef jerky, granola bars, fresh or dried fruit, sandwiches, energy bars, popcorn, dried chickpeas, fruit leather, and dark chocolate.
Until next time....Change your life, change your legacy!