Hiking is an excellent activity for seniors. If you’re bored at home with nothing to do, it might be a good idea to go out on a long walk. It’ll do you plenty of good, such as helping to clear your mind and get some fresh air.
More importantly, it’s also a great way to exercise. In a previous article, we covered how often you should exercise, and the types of exercise you should do. Hiking is a great low-intensity exercise, being quite literally a walk in the park.
There are also numerous benefits to hiking, such as improving cardiovascular health and preventing the onset of osteoporosis, among many others. It also helps as mental exercise as it gives you something to focus on, and plenty of sights to see on your journey.
It’s been proven that hiking is an easy form of exercise that’s gentle on the joints. If you have a problem with aching joints, this is a good way to help relieve the pain. It also helps you to relax and improve sleep. It’s also a good way to meet new people on the way who are doing the same thing.
Here are some tips to consider when planning your next hiking trip.
Before you embark on a hiking trip, you must make sure you prepare appropriately. That means ensuring that you know exactly where to go and what to do when on your trip. This means packing the right things, such as plenty of water to drink and medical supplies in case you suffer an injury somehow. Make sure to bring an umbrella, as it might rain anytime due to Singapore’s unpredictable weather.
Before beginning your hike, you might also want to physically prepare yourself. Stretch before starting to get your muscles ready and prevent any strain from forming afterwards. Drink plenty of water before beginning as well, and when you get thirsty. Wear light clothing to prevent the risk of heatstroke.
Choose the Right Trail
There are numerous hiking trails in Singapore for you to take, such as MacRitchie Reservoir and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. With the construction of the new Park Connector Network (PCN), it’s even possible to hike across one end to Singapore to the next.
Make sure to research which trail is right for you and your physical condition. A more relaxed and straightforward trail across the PCN is typically better than the more physically-demanding ones that take you through Singapore’s forests and steep hills.
Make sure you bring your mobile phone along with you. In case something happens to you, such as suffering an injury, it’s a good idea to be able to contact people you know or the emergency services for help.
Your relatives may also get worried if they don’t know where you are and can’t contact you. Make sure to also tell them where you’re going first.
Use a Walking Stick
You may want to bring along a walking stick, especially if you suffer from bad knees. Walking sticks help to provide additional stability, and helps to better distribute your weight, reducing physical stress and improving balance. They can also prevent fall injuries by helping to stabilise yourself if you lose your balance.
Many walking sticks can be found n the market, most are which are made from high-quality but lightweight aluminium that is very durable. They also have adjustable and ergonomic grips to ensure comfort.
Always be sure to only pack what you need. Having a heavy backpack may lead to back pain from the weight. It’s best if you pack light and only carry the essentials along, such as water and medical supplies, among other things. Things that are unnecessary and only take up more weight should be left at home.
Also check out some of the best affordable lightweight hiking backpacks for seniors.