The weather is warm, the earth is green again (finally!), and you can’t wait to get out into it. We know what you’re thinking: A hike will be perfect!
You’ll be in the great outdoors, enjoying the company of friends and family or some blessed solitude. If you’re a parent, you’ll pry your kids from their screens for a day and help them appreciate the glory of nature, and you’ll all get some exercise to boot (pun most definitely intended).
We hate to burst your bubble. Hiking is an awesome way to spend a summer day, but without preparation, it can be a nightmare of exhaustion, blisters, dehydration, hunger, and whining.
Here’s what to do to make sure your hike is fun for everyone:
Pick your path wisely.
What do you want from the hike? Gorgeous views, a creek to wade in, the chance to see some wild critters? Do a little research about the trail you’re considering and be realistic about the fitness and endurance of everyone in your party, or you’re on the next train to nightmare city. You don’t want to get to the halfway point and have your preschooler meltdown and refuse to take another step, do you? We didn’t think so. (They’re so heavy when they’re mad.)
Dress for success.
What’s the weather up to? Sunny and hot, a little chilly, some of each? A hat with a brim is will keep the sun off your face on sunshiny days. Rain gear is a good idea if you expect to see raindrops. (Wet clothes suck for hiking!) Layers are good if it’s going to start cool and then heat up later on. But the dressing best tip for any hike is to go for comfort! Clothes that let you move freely and comfortable shoes or boots are a must. (And just in case, always pack some band-aids!)
Drink some water before setting out so you start out well hydrated. But be sure to pack some water too. The amount of water you’ll need on the trail will vary with the weather and how strenuous the hike is. A super hard hike on a smoldering day could require as much as a quart an hour. <1> (Trust us on this one.) On a more moderate hike, you won’t need as much, but be sure to take plenty for everyone.
Think food. Lots of food.
You need fuel to hike, so eat a good breakfast. Eggs or yogurt will supply protein, and whole grain toast or granola will give you the carbs to power through. On the trail, nosh on nutrient-dense snacks like fresh or dried fruit, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, beef or vegetarian jerky, nuts, or a healthy trail mix. (Step away from the one that’s mostly M&Ms). How about this genius idea: If your hike is short enough, leave a picnic lunch or dinner in a cooler in your car so you can eat it on your return and not have to carry it with you.
Show your bones and muscles some love.
You need strong bones and muscles to hike, and two nutrients are especially crucial here—calcium and magnesium.* Calcium builds up your bones when you’re young and then maintains them over your whole life, so you need to eat calcium-rich foods and/or take a calcium supplement every day.* You also need magnesium daily. This wonder mineral regulates 300 different chemical reactions in the body!* Magnesium is particularly relevant for hiking because it’s a muscle relaxant and can help prevent cramps.* (That’s something you definitely don’t want on the trail.) Unlike calcium, magnesium’s benefits are immediate and it’s especially important to replenish after strenuous exercise.
Flora’s Calciumand Calcium-Magnesium liquid herbal and mineral supplements are the simplest, tastiest way to get your fill of these minerals. They’re easily absorbed, deliver a dose that’s perfect for daily use, and come in a delicious fruit juice base. When your calcium and magnesium needs are met, you’re one step closer to being ready for your next adventure.