Spring into hiking season on the right foot
Spring is finally here, and hiking season is, too. Hiking is a great way for family and friends to get active while enjoying the warm weather and the area's natural resources.
When preparing for a hike, it is best to plan ahead. Consider the following when choosing your location:
- Terrain – is it uphill, rolling or flat?
- How far do you want to go?
- Is the trail rocky or smooth?
Once you choose a spot, find a map of the area to prevent getting lost or off course. If it's a Mississippi Valley Conservancy property, you can find a list of maps on their website.
Other things to consider:
- Leave your itinerary with someone.
- Bring a cellphone, snacks and water.
- Check the weather before leaving.
- Dress in layers and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
- Hiking poles can come in handy if you have them.
- Respect private property.
- Take your trash with you.
- Some places allow dogs on a leash or not at all, so know the rules and always pick up dog waste.
Our region boasts some of the most beautiful hiking locations in the Midwest, so be sure to get out and enjoy them.
For more helpful health and wellness tips, visit gundersenhealth.org/health-wellness.
Summer footwear suggestions
Did you know there are 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles and tendons in the human foot? All the more reason to take care of your feet with appropriate footwear.
- Find a good pair of athletic shoes for exercise and outdoor activities. Do not plan to "break them in." Both shoes should feel comfortable when tried on.
- Choose a shoe that covers the entire foot for yardwork.
- For sandals, look for a pair with high quality leather; this will minimize potential for irritation.
- Don't ignore pain caused by rubbing. This can lead to blisters and infection.
- Make sure your foot does not hang off the edge of a sandal or open-toe shoe.
- Flip flops should not be used as walking shoes, for yardwork or for sports.