Whether you're a new or experienced hiker, there's a wide range of physical and mental health benefits associated with hiking. However, hikers can also encounter setbacks that are specific to a day on the trails.
We want you to enjoy the outdoors year-round, so we've provided a list of three of the most common issues hikers face and how to limit the risk of or prevent them.
Altitude sickness, which is also referred to as mountain sickness, is relatively common for hikers of all fitness and experience levels. It happens when you've reached a higher altitude too quickly, causing symptoms such as headaches, nausea and lightheadedness as your body attempts to adjust to the altitude's lower air pressure and oxygen levels.
How to prevent altitude sickness: The best advice is to trek at a slow pace to give your body enough time to acclimate to the changing air pressure and oxygen levels. If you experience symptoms, it's best to safely return to a lower elevation.
According to Harvard Medical School, walking at an incline puts two to three times your body weight of pressure on your knees, and walking at a decline places even more pressure on your knees. Because of this, pain in the area can be common for many hikers.
How to prevent knee pain: Strengthening and training your knees via exercises is one of the best ways to prevent knee pain and soreness from hiking. Wearing the Sports Knee Support, with its Omega Pad and 3D AirKnit Technology, reduces pain and swelling around the knee for even your most daring hikes.
Ankle Pain & Sprains
Ankle pain and sprains are common among hikers because of the uneven terrain and consistent workload that's placed on your feet. Wearing footwear that isn't appropriate for hiking can increase the risk of ankle pain or injury as well, since hiking boots and socks are designed to provide comfort and stability on the trails.
How to prevent ankle pain and sprains: Hiking-appropriate footwear can go a long way toward helping keep you safe throughout your hike. Wearing the Sports Ankle Support or Sports Ankle Support Dynamic is another measure you can take, as it fits inside hiking boots and is designed with massage pads along the inner and outer ankle to reduce swelling.