Post Content

James_Buszkiewicz_headerPosted by James Buszkiewicz

James is an Epidemiologist at the Department of Public Health

 

Going for a walk is always nice, but I tend to get bored looking at paved sidewalks. That’s why I love hiking: It's Walking 2.0 with a whole lot of adventure.

Hiking is an easy, fun way to get outside and explore your surroundings with friends or family. And with the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, it’s the perfect time to lace up your boots, strap on your back pack and explore some trails! Here are a few pointers to get you on your way and keep you going back for more.

Choose the right hike. Hiking_boots
You don’t have to travel to Big Sur, California or the jungles of Eastern Ecuador (although I recommend  both if you get the chance). Sometimes the best hiking trails are right in your own community! When I was a kid I used to really enjoy hiking in Pine Banks Park, a small forested park shared by Melrose and Malden, or Breakhart Reservation, a hardwood forest shared by Saugus and Wakefield. You can find more local trails at the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Healthy Heart Trails webpage.

Remember that trails can often be hilly or uneven, so start on a short trail to get used to new terrain. Keep a pace that's comfortable to you. Take breaks to rest and enjoy your surroundings. If you have any medical conditions or chronic injuries, check with your doctor before you hit the trails.

Choose the right companion.
Hiking with a friend or family member can be fun and it’s always safer to hike in pairs or groups. You can also find great hiking clubs and meet up events here.
 

Choose the right gear.
Once you’ve found your trail and your hiking buddy, the next step is to pack.

    Shoes. Always wear comfortable shoes or boots that support your ankles. For longer hikes, you may    want special hiking shoes or boots with cushioned support and tough rubber or leather soles (if you have ankle problems, think about something more advanced).

    Clothes. When choosing a base layer, try to avoid cotton. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or microfiber will breathe better. Wear long pants when hiking in a wooded area. Pack a warm layer such as a fleece jacket or wool sweater, and a windproof/waterproof windbreaker in case it rains. Also, be sure to wear thick, well-cushioned hiking socks for comfort and pack an extra pair to keep your feet dry!

    Supplies. Always be prepared! Bring a backpack, and inside of it pack a cell phone for emergencies, water, some healthy snacks, a first aid kit, sun screen, sunglasses and insect repellant!

And lastly, “leave only footprints, take only pictures.”  
Be a good guest and remember to practice proper hiking etiquette. Stay on the trails unless you’re with a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide. Always be aware of your surroundings and if you're in a wooded area, keep noise levels to a minimum if you want to see some local wildlife. If you run into any fellow hikers, be sure to say hello, but also give each other space (especially on trails with small paths).

Most importantly, get out there and HAVE FUN! Happy trails!

 

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference posted on Jul 25

Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference

In the six years from 2008 through 2013, 356 workers died on the job in Massachusetts.  This is about one worker every five days!  The MDPH CFOI and MA FACE projects developed this infographic to illustrate these tragic worker deaths and to underscore the human costs   …Continue Reading Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference

Making Your Summer POP! posted on Jul 19

Making Your Summer POP!

Few things are better than an ice-cold popsicle on a hot summer day!  I have vivid memories from my childhood running around through the sprinkler and various neighbors’ yards enjoying the summer sun.  At that age, having a messy red ring around your mouth from   …Continue Reading Making Your Summer POP!

Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces posted on Jul 18

Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces

Wellness programs are good for business. They can lead to better performing workers, lower absenteeism and decreased healthcare and insurance costs. Now, small businesses can be rewarded for these efforts! The Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit Incentive gives small businesses in Massachusetts a state tax credit   …Continue Reading Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces