Hiking is a great exercise for recovery. Spending time exercising in nature is proven to improve feelings of self-worth, self-esteem, body image, wellness, and actual health. Summertime is a great time to take advantage of hiking and a great way to bond with recovery peers. Part of learning to live sober is being prepared and thinking ahead. Here are some tips for summer hiking in the heat.
- Plan your hikes around the heat of the day. Depending on where you live, the hottest times of the day will be in the late morning and late afternoon. Most often, the summer heat picks up between about 12-4p.m. If you are planning a hike with elevation, you want to do the hardest work of the climb before the intense heat. You can come downhill easier in intense heat than going up. The best option is to start early in the morning and complete by the early afternoon. A good way to get inspired to hike early is to plan for activities to recover from the hike earlier. Plan a massage, a swim, hanging out at the beach, taking a nap, watching movies at home, or another reward for relaxing.
- Avoid desert hiking in the summer: Locations like Southern California where Oceanfront Recovery is located are full of microclimates. Microclimates offer a variety in the places you can adventure and hike. Deserts are hot most of the year, and especially boiling during the summer. Avoiding desert hiking in extreme heat when you are just starting hiking. The heat will be too much to take and your body will not yet be equipped to handle it.
- Explore water based hikes: Few things are more awe-inducing and refreshing than taking a long hot hike to a refreshing waterfall, lake, pond, or stream. If there is a popular spot for taking a summer dip, it is the perfect opportunity to explore beautiful nature.
- Cover up your skin: You might think you’d want as little on your skin as possible i order to feel cool from the heat of the sun. It’s actually protecting your skin from the sun that helps you feel more cool. Opt for loose layers which encourage air flow rather than tight layers. Consider wearing a hat that covers your face with shade and protects your neck. You might like ridiculous, but you’ll be ridiculously happy when you don’t develop heat stroke.
- Carry extra ways to cool off: A wet bandana placed on the right pressure points like the wrists or the back of the neck can cool the whole body. Having an extra bottle of water can save a life. Hiking in the summer is a beloved activity but can be dangerous for those who aren’t prepared. Remember to carry a whistle in case you or a friend should fall sick. Exhaustion and sun stroke are no laughing matter. It’s important to cool the body down as much as possible.
Oceanfront Recovery is located just blocks away from one of the most iconic beaches in Orange County in the famous town of Laguna Beach. Our ideal location helps clients become immersed in their local surroundings. As part of our southern California recovery lifestyle, we regularly take clients hiking in the nearby mountains. For information on our residential treatment programs for men, call us today: 877.279.1777