Sports Medicine in the Mountains

Don’t get sore after your hike

By Susanna Raymundo

 If you’re going to take one of the many hikes in the Quetzaltenango area it’s important to prepare for the hike so that you don’t get injured.  C’mon: you can do five minutes of stretching before your hike OR you can be sore for four days.  Your call.  Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

       Step One: Increase your heart rate.  You can start your warmup by alternating walking speed for 10 minutes. It starts with a normal speed. After about 3 minutes, walk fast (F) for two minutes, then walk slowly (S) for one minute, then walk fast again for two minutes (2 min. F – 1min. S – 2 min. F). By doing this alternation of speed for ten minutes, you reach an adequate heart rate.

       Step Two: Stretch it out. Choose an appropriate space in the mountains or the place where you are doing your hike. Remove your backpack or any other items that may impede stretching. Make sure to hit the following muscle groups:

       Calves: Dorsiflection of the foot: Sit on the ground. With a hand, grab your foot and pull it toward you until you feel it stretch. Hold it for 15 seconds. Change feet and perform the same activity.
       Quadriceps: Lying on the left side (lateral position), turn your right knee and, with the right hand, bring the right foot toward your buttock. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. Release slowly and repeat the activity with the opposite leg.
       The Glutes: Sit with legs outstretched, cross your right leg over your left leg, bend your knee, place your left hand on your knee, pull the knee toward the left side, and slightly rotate the trunk. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds. To exit this stretch, slowly release the knee, stretch it and return it to the starting position. Perform the same activity with the other leg. 
       Thigh Flexors: Sit on the floor, stretch your legs forward with feet together, place your hands on your toes or bend the trunk forward, feeling the back of the legs stretching. Hold this position for 15 seconds. To leave this position, you need to stretch your back or put it in an upright position.
       Adductors: Stand up, open your legs as far as possible, flex the knee, bend to the left side by placing your bodyweight above the left knee. This will stretch the right knee. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Return to the previous position (with knees bent), and lean toward the right side, stretching the left knee. Hold this position for 15 seconds and return back to the previous position. Return your feet to the initial stance.

 Step Three: Enjoy your hike! 

Happy Trails!

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