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While the COVID 19 pandemic is far from over, there is light at the end of the tunnel with more people getting vaccinated and restrictions getting lifted gradually. After long periods indoors, many people cannot wait to get out there and reconnect with nature, and what better way to do this than by taking a hike?

Hiking has proven to have numerous benefits to the body and soul. It is also a great way to spend time outdoors with friends and family without worrying too much about social distance restrictions since you’ll be on the move. It is also a great mood booster, with several studies showing that being around green spaces is good for your mental health.

This exercise also offers a moderate-intensity cardio workout if the route you peak has some inclines or hills. Hiking on uneven surfaces is also beneficial to your muscles and improves your balance.

 However, before you set off and go for a hike, there are some things you should think about. Take some time to prepare, especially since it’s probably a long time since you were last out hiking.

Increase your daily steps. If your walking endurance is low, take a few minutes to walk around your neighborhood, wearing a step counter with a daily target. This is to warm your legs up in readiness for the hike to avoid quitting just a few steps after you start.

Hike with family or friends. If you prefer to hike alone, let someone know where you’ll be hiking. You should also take a fully charged cellphone with you on the hike for emergencies.

Use sunscreen. Even if you will be hiking in the shade, there are still chances of getting sunburned. Carry sunblock with 30 SPF and above to help block all types of ultraviolet rays.

Be wary of ticks. Ticks are common in the US outdoors and can be found in wooded, grassy, or bushy areas. These pests are dangerous and can spread deadly infections like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

Remember to stay hydrated. Carry enough water to drink on the hike.