How To Deal With Difficult Terrain When Hiking

Heel Toe Express – How To Deal With Difficult Terrain When Hiking

If you’re hiking over relatively flat, ordinary terrain you’ll need to be able to keep a steady pace with regular (short) rest breaks. Different types of terrain, such as steep or slippery slopes, creeks or even higher altitude trails make that very difficult and your techniques need to adjust to match the situation.

Slopes and Higher Altitude Terrain

The biggest change when hiking uphill or at higher elevations is the amount of strain it takes to cover the same distance. Going uphill means you’re fighting gravity and it will take more energy to do so.

At higher elevations, there is less oxygen in the air and your heart will have to work harder to get the necessary oxygen to your body. These things need to be kept in mind when tackling these types of hikes.

Monitor your heart rate to be sure you’re not being overworked. At rest, it should be about 70 beat per minute (BPM) and a hard workout can result in 120-130 BPM for shorter periods of time. Ideally, you want to stay in the low- to mid-range for the majority of your hike.

If you allow your heart rate to get too high for too long, you could end up with High Altitude Syndrome, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness.

Rivers, Lakes & Other Water

Hiking in wet conditions can also require more energy but it also means that you are more likely to get wet, which can lead to other problems including discomfort, blisters, and loss of body heat.

Wearing the proper hiking gear is important in these environments. Make sure your boots are waterproof and high enough that they won’t get completely submerged. It’s also important to wear waterproof clothing and have a backpack that is waterproof to keep the gear, food and other items you’re carrying dry.

When you come to a river, if there is an alternative to fording it, it’s best to take that alternative. It might mean hiking a little out of your way to get to a bridge or a narrower spot, but it’s better than stepping out into the unknown.

Cold temperatures, undercurrents, and slippery bottoms are just a few of the possible hazards when crossing a river.

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Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart

Heel Toe Express – Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart

Walking has all sorts of health benefits among them the ability to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. Many people at risk for stroke and heart disease are overweight, unhealthy and have a hard time exercising. Thankfully walking is an easy, low-impact workout that almost anyone can do.

Start where you’re at. Just put on your shoes and head out there. If all you can do is walk for five to ten minutes, start there. It’s a great start and that’s a lot more exercise than you’ve been getting. Stick with it for a week and then see if you can make it for 15 minutes.

If you can go for 30 minute walk, start there. Pick up the pace, walk briskly and after a week or two, try to go for 45 minute walks. Or break up your walking workout into 3 shorter sessions interspersed throughout your day.

If you have any health conditions and in particular, if you’re suffering from high blood pressure and are at risk for heart disease, discuss your walking plans with your doctor. The two of you can come up with a plan that’s appropriate and safe for you.

Getting out and walking will help you on several different levels. The act of walking itself, particularly if you can go for a walk out in a pretty park is very relaxing and will lower your blood pressure soon after the walk. That’s a terrific benefit of walking and something that will help you feel better right away. But the benefits don’t stop there.

The regular exercise will strengthen your heart. Remember your heart is a muscle and going for a brisk walk works out more than your leg muscles. As you work out your heart, it gets stronger and better at pumping blood through your body. And as you strengthen your muscles and your body overall, you are likely losing body fat. That’s good news for your blood pressure long term. All it takes is heading out there for a short little walk each day. As you get stronger those walks will get longer and you may even give swimming or riding your bike a try.

Healthy diet, regular exercise, and losing weight are some of the most effective ways to reduce hypertension regularly. Add to that the fact that walking helps you destress and it’s no wonder that walking regularly has such beneficial effects on your health. Ready to get started? Put on your shoes and go for that first walk.

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Using A Pedometer To Get Your Walking In

Heel Toe Express – Using A Pedometer To Get Your Walking In

Setting aside some time to go for a 45-minute walk isn’t always easy. We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day? And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you keep track of it and motivated you to move more?

There is and it’s called a pedometer. You can pick up an inexpensive model at your local superstore or order it from Amazon. Or you can go with something a little fancier like a Fitbit for example. But before you head out to spend any money, check your smartphone. Many models have a pedometer built in. All you need to do is download a free app and you’re good to go.

The pedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45-minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that, you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.

Give it a try. Put on a pedometer, or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking on any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long-term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.

Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after dinner stroll.

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11 Safe Walking Tips

11 Safe Walking Tips
Heel Toe Express – Stay Safe While Walking

Walking is a healthy activity, but you need to know the rules safety. This is especially true if you are walking in an area where there aren’t sidewalks or paths separate from the road. To stay safe walking, follow these rules of the road:

1. Walk Facing Traffic When Walking on the Side of the Road
If there is no sidewalk and you must walk on the side of the road, choose the side where you are facing oncoming traffic. In North America, this is the left side of the road. This gives you the best chance to see traffic approaching closest to you and take evasive action when needed.

2. Walk Single-File While Walking on the Road
Unless you are on a sidewalk separated from the road or you are in a wide bike/pedestrian lane, you should walk in single file. This is especially important on a road with lots curves and where traffic has only a split second chance of seeing you before hitting you. While it can be enjoyable to walk down the road two to three side by side chatting and laughing, drivers don’t expect it and you may lose your best walking buddies.

3. Cross Safely
Mom was right: look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, it is wise to cross only when you have the pedestrian crossing light. But even then, drivers and bikers may have a green light to turn and won’t be expecting you to be in the crosswalk. Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave. Make sure they see you. In a car-walker interaction, you can only lose. It can be tempting to simply jaywalk, but know the do’s and don’ts as it can be an infraction and a safety hazard.

4. Be Visible
Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. When walking at night, wear light-colored clothing and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you, even at street crossings that have crossing signals. Be just as cautious at dawn or twilight, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes.

5. Stay Aware of Bikes and Runners
Share the road and path with bikes and runners. Bike riders should alert you when approaching from behind with a bike bell or a “passing on the left/right.” Listen for them, and move to walk single file, allowing them to pass safely. Runners should also call out for passing. Bike-walker collisions can result in broken bones or head injury for either — and you aren’t wearing a helmet.

6. Be Predictable
Make a practice of staying on one side of the path while walking rather than weaving randomly from side to side. Watch your arm motions, or you may end up giving a black eye to a silently passing walker, runner, or biker.

7. Walk Dogs on Short Leashes
It is terrifying and tragic to witness dogs running out in to traffic or getting into a fatal dog fight, whether on leash or off leash. But there is also a danger when walking your dog on a long leash that you will trip other walkers or bikers. Keep your pet and yourself safe by learning proper leash walking.

8. Enjoy Your Walk and Check Your Phone After
Chatting, texting, or playing games on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving. You are distracted and not as aware of your environment. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, passing joggers and bikers or tripping hazards. Potential criminals see you as a distracted easy target. Adopt habits that can keep your phone in your pocket, or at least stop in a safe place to complete your phone tasks before moving on. See more about the dangers of distracted walking.

9. Keep the Music Down
Don’t drown out your environment when listening to your earbuds or headphones. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners. Your audiologist will also thank you.

10. Know When to Stop Walking
Heat sickness, dehydration, heart attack or stroke can strike walkers of any age. Learn the symptoms of medical emergencies and carry a cell phone to dial 911.

11. Be Aware of Stranger Danger
Choose your walking route for paths frequented by other walkers, joggers, and bikers. If you see someone suspicious, be prepared to alter your course or go into a store or public building to avoid them. Acting alert and aware can convince bad guys to choose an easier target. Follow these street safety tips for walkers

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Hiking – Benefits

Heel Toe Express – Hiking

Hiking can help improve people’s health, it is a very beneficial activity. It’s worth undertaking because it can help people to improve their nature appreciation level and can also cultivate their minds.

Hiking, namely walking. Hiking has many classifications, like suburban, rural, mountain, rivers and many other regions. In most cases, going out on foot is always happening in places in the suburbs and rural areas. When walkers are conducting long-distance hiking activities, they usually need to wear specialized hiking shoes to protect their feet.

The classification of hiking depends on different regions, people classified into suburban, rural, mountain, jungle, desert wilderness, snowy glaciers, valleys, plains, mountains, the Great Wall trail, grass, lake, rivers and other classified on foot. A short distance on foot is usually within 5 km, and the middle distance on foot is usually among 10 to 20 kilometers, and certainly, the long-distance hiking is more than 20 km.

Hikers have to wear specialized hiking shoes if the distance is quite long, in order to protect the feet.

Hiking Cross Country refers to an outdoor activity which requires the hikers finish all their hiking tasks completely by walking. The hikers may meet with many landscapes during the hike, including mountains, jungles, deserts, snowfields, streams, canyons and other landscapes. The field integrated hikers should have a higher skill in mountain climbing, rock climbing, rafting, boating, and outdoor survival. The cross country hiker must be in good physical condition, stable psychologically, and ethical standards, and also the team spirit(if needed). A successful hiker must have a preparation before they start, hikers should have a deeper understanding of the hiking regions for its conditions, which include the weather, topography, degree of difficulty, the risk factor, necessary equipment, food, medicines, etc. The knowledge, exploration, and the preparation for the unpredictable. Hikers get to know the relevant knowledge and skills of outdoor survival in order to meet the various outdoor situations.

Good health and good physical condition are the most important elements a hiker should have. The hikers cannot omit these prerequisites because there are no shortcuts to develop one body into a suitable one except for a training program. Walking gradually enhances endurance, strength, and weight-bearing, swimming, hiking, distance running. Cycling can help to increase physical endurance training skills and every day push-ups, dumbbell, sit-ups, and chin-up are also feasible in increasing strength.

Here are some necessities for a hiker. First are the essential supplies: backpack, quick-drying pants or long-sleeved, hiking boots. Sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses are very useful in protecting yourself from being sunburn. Personal medicines are also very important, like medicated oil, bone-setting medicine, stickers, stomach or individual effects of drugs, anti-mosquito drugs. Remind everybody to prepare their personal water and appropriate supplement for the journey. Here are some more recommended supplies: alpenstock, towels, plastic bags, spare clothes, camera, headlights and waterproof bag.

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Benefits of Walking

Heel Toe Express – Benefits of Walking

Through centuries, walking has been the main way of transportation. In our days it’s starting to lose its importance because of huge invasion of bikes, cars and other mechanical transports. Anyway, any health specialist will tell you that walking has a massive impact on our health and also it has many other benefits.

Walking is a free and effective way of improving your health and not only.

Health Benefits

First of all, walking provides a cardiovascular workout which is reducing a risk of heart disease. Also, walking strengthens your muscles, helps to lower your back pain, improve the coronary condition. Walking reduce risks of infection and hypertension; aids in maintaining a healthy weight; and curbs the decrease in bone density. Like almost all forms of exercise, it adds more health and zest to your life.

Environmental Benefits

When you replace your car with walking you reduce emission level to a zero. It seems that almost everyone is going green in these days to save the planet. You can be one of them by simply choosing to walk as much as possible.

Transportation Benefits

If you’re walking, you don’t increase the amount of traffic. Also when you walk you don’t need to look for a parking space. Walking is a great time saver if you live in a city or a town. Often walking takes less time to get from point A to a point B than other transports.

Walking will help you to save space, nerves, energy and time!

Social and Economic Benefits

Forgetting huge and very important health benefits, walking also can bring social and financial benefits to you.

Since walking is free, replacing your vehicle with walking (if possible) can save you lot of money. Taxes, repairs, and gas hit your pocket much harder every year. Walk every time it’s possible and forget about an empty wallet.

Having a dose of fresh air, communication, better mood are also benefits of walking. You can meet interesting people while walking, see beautiful places and relax.

Walking is a powerful tool to upgrade your health, your body, and your soul.

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Walking Will Help Shed Those Excessive Pounds

Heel Toe Express – Walking Will Help Shed Those Excessive Pounds

If you are overweight you are inviting yourself to a myriad of health issues, if not now then down the road. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world die each year from some form of ill…

If you are overweight you are inviting yourself to a myriad of health issues, if not now then down the road. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world die each year from some form of illness related to being overweight. If you have a BMI which stands for Body Mass Index of 25-29 or higher, you could be in some physical danger.

Too many people are overweight. People are learning the hard way that being overweight can kill you, or destroy your life, whether it be a heart attack or stroke which are the most common. Also when someone is overweight, they will usually suffer from low self-esteem usually be the media and their co-workers. On top of this, overweight people usually have terrible sleeping habits and have trouble breathing. And unfortunately, many people shy away from obese people because they think they have other hidden agendas and even mental problems.

One of the main factors of obesity is eating more food than you are burning off with exercise, and this is generally caused by a slow body metabolism. When an excessive amount of fat aggregates in certain areas this causes someone to become obese. However, it’s just genetic with others, because they tend to digest their food slower than other people do. This isn’t necessarily their fault, but there are things everyone can do to improve their situation.

Also if you’re not making a daily effort to be active and are sedentary all the time. Being lazy can turn into a negative cycle, and can diminish your health faster than it should be. The more active you are, the better off your health will be. The main thing is to keep a positive attitude and stay as active as you can. If you only have a few items to pick up from the grocery store consider walking instead of hopping in your car to get there. The more walking you do the better off you’ll be. It strengthens your tendons and ligaments and it will also curb your appetite.

Going to a gym is fine but it’s not really necessary. If you can just set aside 20 minutes to an hour each day to go walking, your health will greatly improve. I used to remember breathing heavily a few years ago. I stopped everything I was doing and just started walking everywhereArticle Search, and within 3 weeks I was feeling great and wasn’t breathing heavy anymore. In most cases, you need to just learn to change your habits.

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Walking – The Ideal Exercise to Get Rid of Stress

Heel Toe Express – Walking – the Ideal Exercise to Get Rid of Stress

Walking is a great exercise. This is especially true if you are stressed out. If you are experiencing stress or would just like to get in shape, read this article. It will give you 7 great reasons to start walking today.

When I was a kid, walking was the major way for me to get anywhere I needed to go. Today it’s a different story because now it’s just a few steps to the car. In the past 50 years or so, as transportation options have become more available, walking has become an “exercise” instead of a regular activity.

Popular magazines are full of “walking programs” as if we suddenly forgot how to put one foot in front of another. Doctors often recommend walking to people recovering from heart attacks, who have high blood pressure or who suffer from arthritis.

Psychologists will encourage you to walk if you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. Health coaches and personal trainers will often set you up with a walking program as a beginning point for developing an exercise program.

Why walking? Well, it’s an easy exercise and you already know how to do it. Almost anyone of any age can walk at a normal pace and, if you’re very fit, you can train to be a race walker.

Here is why walking is the ideal exercise to help you get rid of stress:

1. It doesn’t cost anything – Walking is free! You don’t need any additional money needed to get started. All you need is a pair of walking or running shoes, clean socks, and some comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing.

2. You can walk anywhere – You don’t have to go to a gym to walk. You can walk on the street, in the park, at the mall or around the floors of your office building.

3. Walking provides a low impact exercise option that’s great for building aerobic capacity. This is especially important when high impact aerobic exercises are too hard on your knees or joints.

4. It is easy to make part of your life. As you walk you’ll start finding easy ways to incorporate it into your life, such as parking farther from your destination or choosing to walk to nearby stores or cafes.

5. Walking is an easy activity to involve your friends in. Instead of making a lunch date, agree to go on a walk and have a light snack when you return.

6. Studies have shown that if you walk for only 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, it helps cut heart disease risk in half. This can be extremely important if you’re suffering from extreme stress in your life.

7. You will look and feel better. Walking slows the effects of aging by keeping your body tone and trim. Walking outdoors can give you a nice tan and plenty of vitamin “D”, plus it provides oxygen to the cells that support healthy skin.

So if you are stressed, get on your walking shoes. If you are a type “A” personality and want to keep track of your walking, buy a pedometer to measure your steps. Then set a goal to add 500 more steps each day to your walking.

Whatever you do start walking today. You’ll reduce your stress and walk your way into good physical and mental health.

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Your Guide to Walking For Exercise

Heel Toe Express – Your Guide to Walking For Exercise

Many people do not realize that walking is one of the best ways to get fit. However, walking for exercise is not always as simple as opening the door and going out for a stroll. The Internet and several women’s magazines can provide some decent walking for exercise plans that you can try. I’m sure that you should be able to find something that will work for you depending on your goals and your fitness level.

Walking for exercises is a good way to start if you have a lot of weight to lose. Walking may be the only practical option for those who have trouble moving around, and haven’t exercised for a long period of time. There is no need to go far to benefit from walking for exercise at this point. Just do your best to go as far as you can each day. Ask about a sensible eating plan and talk your plans over with your doctor before you start working out if you are morbidly obese.

You may have trouble getting over a weight loss plateau if you use walking for exercise. In this case, you may need to go with a more advanced walking plan. You can add weights to either your wrists or your ankles as you walk, or you may need to increase your speed while working out. Remember that the healthier and slimmer you become, the more effort you need to put into any workout to continue to lose weight.

You also have to follow some guidelines if you want to use walking for exercise.

You can start going up and down hills as a part of your routine if you want to really add some intensity to your walking for an exercise plan. Don’t forget to keep the pace fast. You don’t need to run, but make sure that you are giving yourself a true workout.

You should walk fast enough so that you have trouble holding a conversation. You are walking too slowly for any real benefit if you can talk easily. Remember to make time to walk each and every day. You are only getting three days worth of exercise if you only walk for three days every week. Walking for exercise is a good idea, but don’t get lazy about it or you will not reach your fitness goals.

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How to Find Reasons to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

Heel Toe Express – Walking 10,000 Steps a Day – How to Find Reasons to Do This

Finding motivational reasons to walk 10,000 steps a day doesn’t need to be difficult. Follow the exercises in this article so that you will have the reasons that motivate you to reach and sustain this daily goal.

Exercise A: Make a list of what motivates you today.

Here are some questions to consider as you make this list:

1. Do you want to be healthier?

For example, do you want to reduce your risk of heart attack? Do you want to lower your body-fat percentage? Do you want to condition your muscles and bones? Do you want to avoid morbid obesity and lose weight? Do you want to cut your chance of developing dementia? Walking 10K steps/day can have all of these health effects on you.

2. Do you want to feel healthier?

This is not necessarily the same as being healthier. You can feel healthier almost immediately — long before you actually are healthier. For example, do you want to be able to brag that you walked 10K steps/day? This has nothing to do with your long-term health, but it certainly feels healthier in the moment. As another example, do you want to have enough lung capacity to walk a flight of stairs? This is not necessarily a sign of better health, but it sure can feel good to be able to do it. And walking 10K steps/day can help you to get to the point where you can walk that flight of stairs.

3. Do you want to live longer?

One’s longevity is not guaranteed. But do you have things you want to do, places you want to see, or people whom you want to meet later in life?

4. Do you want to enjoy your life more?

For example, do you want to increase your sleep quality and sleep duration? Do you want to improve your mental acuity? Do you want a greater sense of calm in your life?

Exercise B: Make a list of what would motivate your loved ones today to encourage you to walk 10K steps/day.

Their motivations might be the same as your motivations that you identified in exercise A. But they could be different. For example, you might care more about putting life in your years than about putting years in your life. But your loved one might care more about your being around to see your children or grandchildren grow up. So you would care more about enjoying your life more whereas they would care more about your longevity.

Exercise C: Combine the lists from exercises A and B to make a super-list of reasons to walk 10K steps/day.