Hiking is one of the most enjoyable recreational activities in the USA. Nearly 59 million people in the US go hiking every year. That said, it is as dangerous as delightful. Sure, it enables you to test your fitness and embrace nature, but it also poses many health risks in the form of injuries, especially ankle injuries.
Hikers like challenges, and in the pursuit of challenging them, they often choose more difficult trails for the next hike than the previous ones. But with more challenging trails, such as long-distance terrain and technical treks, comes the risk of injuries, which can make walking painful, let alone hiking.
Injuries that hikers face
Hikers are susceptible to various injuries, such as blisters, bruises, ankle sprains, and stress fractures. While minor problems are usually manageable, complex injuries may raise severe complications if left unattended. However, many hikers initially consider their injury less severe or overlook it, thinking it will improve with rest. Plus, some try to change how they walk in their hiking boots to put less stress on the injury. But this only aggravates it, contributing to further complications. This is why recognizing the early signs of an injury and treating it before it turns serious is crucial to avoid a lengthy recovery period.
How to prevent hiking-related injuries
Before you embark on any hiking trail, consider these safety tips:
- Protect your feet and ankle by wearing proper-fitted footwear with ankle support. It will also protect your toes and toenails from blisters and bruises
- Wear suitable socks that keep moisture away and protect your feet from cold
- Make sure your hiking boots are in tip-top condition before hiking – it is best to spend the extra money on waterproof boots.
- Know the complete hiking route
- Pack and carry a first aid kit while hiking. Whether home or out of town, have an ankle ice wrap in the freezer in case of an injury.
Make sure you are well-prepared before setting on a hiking trail.
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