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Center For Natural Medicine                   


Subject: News from Center For Natural Medicine
Center For Natural Medicine Newsletter )
Hiking October 2005
in this issue
  • Hiking to regenerate
  • Tips for Hiking
  • Short or Long Hikes: Be Prepared


    Many of you know I am an avid hiker. I find it to be enjoyable exercise. Here are some of the points that make it so appealing.

    Dr. Dana Keaton
    Hiking to regenerate

    When I hike alone especially, it is a very contemplative time to regenerate. Hiking can get you out of your worldly demands and let you see a bigger better picture.

    Physically it provides aerobic exercise in an enjoyable setting that is always unique. Most hikes, if steep enough or long enough also build muscle.

    Trails are convenient all around our town. In central Phoenix I can find trails within 15 minutes drive from home. When I travel I find trails to show me new scenery, and still get my exercise as a side benefit. Most areas have ranger stations with knowledgeable staff to assist you in finding a trail at the right difficulty to suit you. If you have time you can check ahead on the Internet and get a map.

    Locally the mountain preserve trails are everywhere. For trails around Arizona I enjoy the books by Christine Maxa.

    I recommend challenging trails as a confidence builder for children and teens. Hiking is a great family event. I was about 7 years old when my family started to take me on overnight hikes; but try this on your own before you bring the children if you are a novice. Short day hikes are the best way to start and check each person’s endurance.

    Tips for Hiking

    Here are some tips. Footwear is important. Tread helps prevent falls. Higher tops are good in rough terrain to protect the ankles. Never start out in new stiff boots. Breaking the boots in will help prevent blisters.

    Layer clothes with sun protection as well as warmth in mind. In the heat lightweight shirts help protect from sunburns. Synthetic sports shirts tend to wick the moisture away and work better than cotton if you are out for over an hour.

    Hats and sunglasses are necessary. Most people have what they need to get started in their closet. It is not an expensive sport

    No matter where you head, or how short your hike is planned to be, do not ever go out without water. Never Ever. At least 500 ml if you think you are out for a stroll. More water if the trail is longer or it is hot weather.

    Short or Long Hikes: Be Prepared

    For short hikes at least one person should have a small pack with essentials. Here are some things to keep in your pack:

    Traumeel heads the list as it is good for bruises, burns, stings and most injuries.

    Sun block. I prefer zinc or titanium oxides as they burn less if they get in your eyes.

    Moleskin. Lip moisturizer with sun block. Tissue or cotton handkerchief. Maybe a snack to go with your water, just in case.

    Longer hikes require a few additional things “just in case”, as well as some food and extra water. Alcohol swabs. The new paint on bandage liquid. Or old fashioned bandaids. A pocket knife and small flashlight.

    A lighter or waterproof matches. Some toilet paper and a zip lock garbage bag. Do not litter the trail.

    I keep a bit of duct tape in my pack. Duct tape is known to be good for almost anything. Arnica for swelling or fatigue. A list of any personal medications, allergies or medical conditions.