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Preparing for a Hike

Whether it is your first hiking trip, or you are an advanced hiker, it is important to know how to prepare for a hike. We do research on what to bring during a hike, we look up hiking safety tips and the best locations to hike; but sometimes we forget about how to prepare our bodies for a hike. It is important to make sure our body is ready for the activity, but also know how to stretch our body after the hike to reduce any stiffness and injuries in the future.

Below are a few stretches to warm up your muscles before you start your hike. These will help with your range of motion and flexibility to be prepared for any types of movements that may occur.

1. Alternating Knee Lift

Standing with your feet hip width apart, lift one knee towards your chest and grab right below that knee with both hands. Bring your knee as close to your chest as possible and slowly lower the leg back down to your standing position. Immediately repeat with the other leg. This will complete one repetition. Do this for about 10-15 times.

2. Squat to Hip Flexor

Lowering your body into a squat bring one leg back to a lunge position. Keep your hips forward to feel a good stretch around your hips. Return to a standing position and repeat with the opposite side. This should also be done for about 10-15 times.

3. Alternating High Kicks

Standing hip width apart, bring one leg straight in front of you and swing the opposite arm to try to touch the top of your foot. Bring your leg back down and repeat with the opposite leg and arm. Make sure to maintain a good balance and to keep your leg straight for the kicks. Repeat for 10-15 times.

4. Torso Twist

In a standing position, bend at your waist and twist your shoulders so that you can touch one foot with the opposite hand while the other is raised towards the sky. Return to starting position and repeat with the opposite side. Completion of both sides count as one repetition, repeat this for 10-15 times.

5. Alternating Quad Stretch

Standing hip width apart, bend one leg so that your foot comes close to your butt. Reach behind and pull the top of your foot with your hand, pulling it close towards your body to deepen the stretch. Release and slowly bring down your foot to return to your starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg. This should be done for 10-15 times.

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