I like to Hike!

I like to Hike.

Dr Bret WilsonIf you are looking for an activity that improves mood, fitness and energy, hiking can get you out and lift you up. Hiking gets you outside and lets you explore your surroundings.  It gets the heart pumping and releases endorphin’s, stress reducing hormones.    There is minimal equipment necessary and you can start at any level.  Almost any location can lend itself to hiking, country city, mountain or beach.

Start with a good pair of shoes that support and protect the foot.  Shoes in the hiking, walking or cross training genre are best.  Avoid soft soled shoes, open toes and heels.  Socks help avoid blisters and wick away moisture.  Clothes should be comfortable and appropriated for the elements.  Layers help you modify as conditions change.  Lightweight , breathable materials are best.  A brimmed hat and sunglasses are also helpful for sun exposure.

Plan your route and know the trail you are walking.  It is best to hike with someone.  Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.   Select a route that fits your current level of fitness, and stay on marked paths.  Plan on 5-10 minute breaks every hour or so.  Select a time of day that gives you daylight and the best weather.   Take along a cell phone to contact help if necessary.  Keep in mind that reception may be poor in some remote areas.  Take along adequate water and snacks to keep hydrated and fueled.  Remember to turn back when you have used half your water.

If you cannot walk and talk at a normal level while hiking you are pushing yourself too hard.  Shortness of breath or any increase in pain should be heeded and take a break or shorten the hike.  Walking poles of a walking stick can help with balance and encourages the use of the arms to assist the walking climbing motion.

Exploration of the world around you at this pace can greatly enhance mood, relief stress and depression.  If you are met with a mental or emotional challenge, a hike in nature can clear your mind and help you see things in a different perspective.

Consider taking a hike for better health.

Yours in Health


Dr. Bret Wilson

Dr. Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.  http://www.acatoday.org/Find-a-Doctor

For more information:

For tips on hiking in Arizona: 

Information about the features of proper hiking shoes: 

An article outlining the health benefits of walking and hiking:

Hiking in nature has mental health benefits: