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There are few things I love more than a great hike. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise, by far, because as a creative individual, I need more stimulation than just running on a paved road or working out in a gym. I love having to watch my footing, climb over rocks, the variation of incline, and the goal of reaching the top of a mountain or some other scenic destination. Hiking offers you a chance to be in nature while simultaneously getting a great workout. Plus, I feel rewarded when at the end of my hike I am greeted by a beautiful view.
To prepare for a hike, or just any day when I know I'll be on my feet a lot, I love to drink EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control (in chocolate, of course) from Walmart. It's a great source of protein which helps to nourish my muscles and prepare them for the workout that is to come. Plus, EAS Advantedge Carb Control helps to manage my hunger; which is perfect when I am planning to be away from any conveniences for a few hours.
Since hiking works muscles in a different way than just walking around town, I often find myself feeling sore afterwards. A good stretch always helps to relax my tired body and it's something I try to do any chance I get. I decided to share my favorite and most simple post hike stretches with you, today! You can modify them to your own flexibility, just make sure you are keeping your form.
Stretch 1- Balancing on one leg, bend your free leg back and grasp with your hand. Slightly push your hips forward (not too much) to get a great stretch in your quads. If you need to use a wall or railing to balance, that is fine. But make sure you are just lightly resting your free hand on the rail rather than relying on it completely. Keep your hips square during this stretch.
Hold for 10-30 seconds then switch legs
Stretch 2- Bending from the hips, reach one arm forward and lightly pull your toes upward. Bend your back leg and sit into it. The further you sit into it the more stretch you will feel. Keep your back flat and your free arm on your hip for balance. You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings and calves.
Hold for 10-30 seconds then switch sides
Stretch 3- Balancing on one leg, bring your free leg up towards your chest. Clasp your hands around your knee and keep your hips square. Roll your ankle then alternate between flexing your foot and pointing your toes. You should feel the stretch in your glutes and it should also help to relieve tension in your ankle and achilles tendon.
Hold for 10-15 seconds then switch sides
Stretch 4- Place your hands on your hips and step forward. Bend your front leg and stretch your back leg straight. Press your hips forward as you do this. You will feel the stretch in your hip flexors as well as your back leg's calf muscles.
Hold for 10-15 seconds
Bend your back leg to increase the stretch, pressing your hips forward as you do this. Be sure to not let your front knee reach over your toes at all. Your knee should be straight up from your ankle, otherwise you will put too much stress on your knee and could cause an injury.
Hold for another 10-15 seconds then switch sides
Stretch 5- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and aim your toes slightly away from your body. Clasp your hands together behind your back with your palms facing up towards the sky. Slightly stretch them down towards the ground while opening up your shoulders and chest.
Hold for 10-15 seconds
To increase the stretch, bend at the waist and stretch your arms towards the sky. Keep your legs straight and your back flat. You will feel this stretch in your biceps and triceps, shoulders and chest, as well as your hips and your hamstrings.
Hold for 10-30 seconds then slowly roll up.
Next time you plan to take a hike, be sure to grab some EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control for the perfect pre-workout drink. It will help give you the energy you need that will sustain you through your workout. And don't forget to stretch before and after!
What is your favorite form of exercise?