With monsoons around and nature at its best, many people go out for trekking or hiking, which is considered one of the best exercises for health including improving bone strength. In addition to the physical health benefits, trekking also improves emotional and mental well-being, but for beginners or people with little experience, the risk of injury to bones and joints is high, especially during trekking during the winter. rainy season.
These injuries can range from sprains/ligament injuries around the foot, ankle, knee or shoulders or other joints to broken bones or even serious chest or head injuries from major falls during the trek. Since some of these injuries can lead to lifelong pain or disability, it is best to take the utmost precautions to avoid them.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Anup Khatri, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Global Hospital, Parel Mumbai, listed some tips to avoid injuries while trekking –
1. Use trekking shoes with good grip to avoid slipping.
2. Be sure to look before a jump or leap.
3. Have a solid base to make good contact on rough terrain and have something to grab onto or use for balance, such as a walking stick or hiking poles.
4. Stretch frequently while hiking. Stretching will keep joints warm and flexible to ensure proper joint function and allow ligaments and tendons to function smoothly.
5. One should use splints or knee or ankle supports if one suffers from knee or ankle pain or is more prone to injury.
6. Drink water frequently to avoid dehydration as this can lead to muscle cramps.
7. Listen to your body and take regular breaks on long hikes, otherwise muscles can get tired or spasm.
8. For instant energy, bring glucose powder or energy drinks or chocolates.
9. If the trekking involves rock climbing, abseiling or rope climbing, appropriate and well-maintained equipment and safety equipment such as helmets, elbow and knee pads, etc. . must be used.
10. Good core strength and balance also help reduce falls.
11. During shipping, for minor sprains, crepe bandage and ice packs may be applied. For any major injury, some form of rigid immobilization should be applied. To deal with these injuries in an emergency, a person must be trained in first aid.
12. If done correctly, trekking helps increase bone strength. We have built bone mass throughout our early childhood and teenage years, while during old age we tend to lose bone mass. This leads to osteoporosis and can lead to bone fractures even in minor falls.
13. Two keys to having strong bones are nutrition and exercise.
14. Dietary minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins such as vitamin D are necessary for good bone health. For muscle well-being – vitamin E, essential amino acids, levocarnitine, etc. are useful. People on long or frequent hikes should consult a qualified nutritionist.
15. Working out for at least 30 minutes every day helps keep muscles and bones strong. Swimming, cycling, strength training, endurance exercises, walking uphill with a light backpack are some good routines for good bone strength.
According to Dr. Pallavi Gamre, Consultant Physiotherapist at Masina Hospital, there are many tips to follow before hiking to improve your joint stability and protect your joints and muscles. She pointed out, “There are basically three points you need to consider. The first is to improve your body’s strength, flexibility, endurance and stability and the second is lung capacity and nutrition. The first thing is that before you go hiking you need to make sure that you have done some strengthening exercises because once you choose the trail you have to follow uphill and the surface is uneven. So to maintain balance, to maintain strength and not get tired or when you are trekking, you should at least 15 to 20 days before, start your strengthening exercises, which include strengthening the flexibility of the whole body. body and improve balance. ”
She explained: “Once the muscle strength is good it helps you improve balance which will help you more to maintain balance when you are trekking as the surface is very uneven. The second thing is lung capacity, because as we walk we go to the highest altitude where the oxygen level is, less to maintain lung capacity, to maintain oxygen in your body , you must start breathing exercises, before going for a hike. To improve your lung capacity, there are many lung exercises like chest expansions, diaphragmatic breathing, segmental breathing. If you practice all these breathing exercises it helps you to improve your lung capacity and as you move to higher altitude then your body is ready to maintain the oxygen level and not feel out of breath or fatigue.
Stressing that the last important point is the diet, Dr Pallavi Gamre insisted: “Before you go on a hike, you must know what you are supposed to eat, because if you eat more fatty or street foods, it will not will not give you needed nutrition and strength, which you need for the trek.Eating a healthy and balanced diet before hiking is very important because you need protein and carbohydrates to maintain your body’s strength and also drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.Otherwise, because of dehydration, the body will face fatigue and will be weak.And then you can’t go on your way.
She concluded, “Those are the three main things to keep in mind. The first is exercise – You need to exercise to improve your strength, maintain your flexibility, improve your endurance before you go hiking. The second thing is lung capacity – performing breathing exercises to maintain and improve lung capacity. Third is diet – eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated.