A couple of years ago, trapped in a desk job which kept me indoors for hours at a time, I dreamed of a way to escape into the outdoors to stretch and take a breath of fresh air.
After an extremely stressful day at work, I decided to switch my gym treadmill for a local forest trail, and it was the best decision.
There isn’t anything more invigorating for my mind and body than hiking or running down a beaten path while surrounded by trees instead of concrete.
And I want you to experience the beauty of it.
Before You Begin…
Trail running and hiking are excellent forms of exercise for the human body, especially for women. They improve our sleep, strengthen our body, help with regulate weight, stress and anxiety.
Anyone, at any fitness level, can try trail running or hiking, but I strongly recommend incorporating strength and balance exercises into your routine two to three times per week to increase endurance and prevent injury.
The truth is, a gym can never truly prepare you for what nature has to offer, and that is the beauty of outdoor recreation.
Every turn is different, and every terrain poses a unique challenge. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to link up with experts to choose a trail for your first try. I enjoy taking a friend with me because I believe hiking is a social activity, and she can come in handy in case of an injury. Speaking of…
Let’s Talk About Shoes
One slippery rock or a miscalculated step can lead to falling or breaking an ankle – which is where your choice of footwear comes in.
I admit, when I started hiking I didn’t do my homework. I expected the same pair of tennis shoes that I used in the gym would be fine for my new outdoor activity. Blisters, scrunched toes and back pain proved me wrong.
Invest in the most comfortable hiking or trail running shoes which also protect your feet and ankles. Here is a list of things you should consider before purchasing a pair of shoes:
- Comfort – you feet will swell on long hikes or runs, making a perfectly fitted shoe feel like a forest troll’s clench.
- Breathability – prevents blisters from forming if you are hiking on a sunny day
- Ankle support
Dress For the Occasion
Now it’s time to match your shoes with your clothes.
I find that KÜHL has the most stylish hiking clothing for women out there. Just look at the Aspira™ Tank top – it has everything you need. The sun protectant fabric dries quickly on a line, and the fit is perfect and flexible, with flattering curves. I love it in the blue color (Bluegrass); the pink one (Mauve Dahlia) is also cute.
When browsing hiking shirts, look for:
- Nylon or Polyester fabric (cotton takes a long time to dry)
- Wicking properties
- UPF sun protectant
The weather will eventually get chilly, and layering is your friend. Forests can get cold at dusk so tying up a lightweight jacket such as Firefly around your waist is an excellent idea. If you are like me and prefer the cool (pun intended), consider bringing Firefly Vest on your hikes.
My friend is very vocal about hiking in the versatile roll-up pants. The Spire™ roll-up pant indeed provides comfort, flexibility, and freedom of movement needed for a hiker.
Honestly, I would recommend shopping for a pair of Kliffside™ Air cargo pants. It has all the pros of a roll-up, and the nylon and spandex fabric makes them more flexible and breathable.
Go For It!
You are dressed up, prepared and ready to go! Don’t forget to pack plenty of water and food for the duration of your hike or run.
All packed? The trails await.
Featured image by Siim Lukka.