Hiking is my favorite form of exercise. It not only allows you to work out your lower body and cardiovascular system, but, of equal importance, it allows you to spend time enjoying nature. If you are like me, you may wonder why some people spend so much time on a treadmill when the weather is nice enough to be on a trail in the woods.
You can see some amazing things on a hike. Wondering what scenery or animal life may be just a little up the trail has certainly motivated me to hike farther than I may have otherwise hiked a number of times.
I also love hiking because of the tranquility it affords. As my legs churn repetitively and I gaze on at the beauty of nature, I find ample opportunity to think, pray, or just clear my head.
Hiking can provide refreshing solitude, but some of the best conversations I’ve had and times I’ve spent with friends have happened in the course of a hike as well. While hiking in the woods or fields with a friend, there is ample time to build relationships in conversing deeply (or not!) about any variety of topics. The exercise and environment seem to lend themselves to an increased comfort and casualness in relating to each other.
Despite all of these aspects I enjoy about hiking, it can still be a rather difficult, physically taxing workout. You will most likely run into the unpleasant annoyance of certain insects, which can distract a hiker from enjoying nature or their hiking companion. Thankfully, there are a number of healthy and natural options for dealing with the physical demands, as well as for repelling annoying insects.
Food & Supplements For Energy & Endurance
First, a hike can be quite the exhausting workout depending the terrain and length of your hike. If you are a hiker like me who tends to walk for miles, taking advantage of electrolyte or energy supplements may not be a terrible idea.
Taking something like a greens pack may help to give you energy, and simply provide needed nutrition before exerting yourself.
If you think you need extra electrolytes, you might try an electrolyte supplement. These come in tablet form that you might take before a hike or in powder form so you can just put some in your water bottle to drink while you’re on the trail.
If you are looking for an herbal supplement to help with endurance, maca might a good one to try to see if it works for you. It is used by athletes for increasing energy and endurance and even for helping to build muscle.
Natural Insect Repellent
Depending on the time of year, the place you choose to hike, and recent weather patterns, hiking can involve battling pests like mosquitoes or horseflies. More than once I have chosen to run down a trail rather than walk just to avoid the wrath of swarming mosquitoes and flies. Certainly, insects can cause much more than annoyance in their ability to carry and transmit diseases as well, so keeping them away should probably be more of a concern for a number of hikers than it is.
Common insect repellents contain DEET, but there are a number of insect repellents that are made with more natural ingredients. If you want to keep the bugs away and avoid the potential health hazards associated with DEET, you may want to try one.
You may want to bring some of these products along with you on your next hike, or take some of the supplements before you go. Perhaps they’ll help motivate you to get outdoors as well as help you to get the most you can out of your next hiking workout.
If you have any other helpful supplement advice for hikers, feel free to leave a comment below.