16:10 PM

‘I’m a Thru-Hiker, and This Is What a Months-Long Trek Does to Your Body—And Mind’

Well + Good discusses how to prepare and condition the body for thru-hiking, an end-to-end backpacking trip on a long-distance trail, according to experts including HSS physical therapist Kristi Foxx, PT, DPT, PMA®-CPT, Cert MDT, who hiked Vermont's 273-mile Long Trail in 2019.

Foxx explained when starting out with hiking, “You'll feel a lot of soreness at first. It's called 'getting your trail legs,' and it typically takes five to seven days, depending on the person.”

“It also challenges your core and spinal control, because you're controlling a heavy pack on your back,” she added.

Foxx said, “Digestion is a big issue. You have to carry lightweight grab-and-go snacks. Only when you get off the trail can you get some healthy things with fiber like fresh fruits and vegetables.”

She explained that hiking up mountains with a heavy pack puts a lot of load on the body, especially downhill climbs. “You have to make sure to stretch out the muscles, keep them moving with a gentle range of motion,” she noted.

Foxx advised, “You have to protect your feet. Wash your feet, look for skin breakdown, and let them breathe.”

Read the full article at Wellandgood.com.