In 2020, more than any year before, people are exercising outside and in wide-open spaces to stop the spread of COVID-19. In Colorado, people have taken to the trails to enjoy the multitude of hiking and running opportunities.
With the increased number of people getting outdoors comes the need for safety reminders and tips. Especially if you're new to hiking or trail running, there are a few important steps that will ensure your safety and your comfort.
1. Wear the right shoes
No matter if you're running, doing cross-training, or taking to the trails, it's essential you have the right shoes. This is not only for your comfort but also to help prevent sprains, tears, and other fitness-related injuries.
If you're hiking this winter, you'll always want to ensure your shoes are safe on possibly snow or ice. Regardless of the brand of shoe you select, just try to have the appropriate footwear for the trails. You'll be glad you did.
2. Hydrate and fuel beforehand—and bring water and snacks
We've all experienced that one workout where we cramp up or feel lightheaded because we forgot to hydrate and fuel before exercising. If you're hitting the trails, be sure to hydrate and eat beforehand. You'll also want to have water with you, as well as food. We've heard Vukoo bars are a pretty good trail snack...just saying.
3. Tell someone where you're going and when you plan to be back
Hiking rule #1: Always tell someone where you're going.
Even if you're going for a walk around a nature park or on a trail that is frequented by others, it's paramount to your safety to tell your loved ones where you'll be and when you plan to be back. This way, if you experience an injury or get caught up in bad weather, someone will know to come looking for you.
4. Travel with a basic first-aid kit
Another tip is to travel with a basic first-aid kit. Especially for injuries like sprains or cuts, it's helpful to have bandaids and athletic tape on hand.
5. Check the weather
This last one is mostly for our Colorado readers—because the weather in the mountains is always deceiving. But it's really a good tip no matter where you live, and especially during the winter.
If you plan to exercise outdoors and hit the trails, make sure to check the forecast. It may look sunny and bright, but a snowstorm could be on the horizon.