Whether it’s on a mountain trail or through an urban park, hiking is good exercise
Hiking is a great workout, and, if you’re a novice, it’s easier than you think to start. We’ve got the five best tips for beginner hikers here:
Be prepared. You may not need extra food or a first-aid kit, but it doesn’t hurt to have them on hand just in case. Carry sunscreen, extra water, snacks, bug spray and a small first-aid kit—even if you’ve planned only a short hike. You can also benefit from a map of the area or the GPS on your phone.
Start small. Hiking can be tiring. Beginners should start out with a few miles at a time, and then gradually build up to longer trails.
Expect a long process. When estimating how long it will take to complete a hike, err on the longer side. Though time is based on physical fitness and elevation, you can expect to cover about two miles an hour. Increase your time by an additional hour for every 1,000 feet of elevation.
Go local. You don’t have to hike the Rockies for a quality trail. Consider state parks or green spaces in urban areas.
Get a buddy. Hike with a partner who knows the trail. And let someone know where you’re going and when to expect your return.