Australia’s natural beauty lends itself to various opportunities to go out and appreciate it. One of those ideas is to hike the countryside. For retired seniors who want to add hiking to their list of leisure activities, setting aside funding for that can be accomplished through an ASAG Reverse Mortgage. And with summer on the horizon, it’s high time to bask in the sunshine!
For your body
Going out on a hike will be most welcome for your body’s health, especially at a later age.
- Balance and flexibility. Hiking enables seniors to practice their sense of balance and improve their flexibility. The latter will be critical in negotiating more complicated terrain.
- Cardio health. The long marches in hiking tests your cardiovascular system more than normal walks. This is especially true when you change your pacing at different points along the trail.
- Immune boost. The outdoors gives you an added infusion of Vitamin D from sunlight, which helps reinforce your immune system and calcium absorption for your bones.
- Cognitive function. Seniors exploring new environments through hiking benefit from improved cognitive abilities as they are exposed to various things on the trail, leading to rapid influxes of stimuli.
- Better moods. Exposure to green environments during a hike enables the body to release more endorphins and bolster a positive mood. It can be even better when you reach a certain location that treats you to breathtaking sights – and who doesn’t want to experience that with a loved one?
Equipment for hiking
The hike kit for seniors can be put down to a few key components:
- Shoes. Your ideal pair of hiking shoes must be a comfortable fit and have been engineered to provide ample traction on numerous surfaces. This is to prevent blisters on your feet.
- Backpack. The choice of backpack will depend on whether you want to hike only during the day or a few days, and your waist and torso measurements. A small daypack is ideal for daylight runs while larger backpacks for longer trips. The waist and torso measurements are needed to ensure the bag fits you when tightly strapped and fully laden. Current backpacks also have wicker pads to absorb sweat and water bladders.
- Hiker support poles. Hiker poles are often used for longer hikes in more challenging environments. They will help take the strain off your knees when going downhill while carrying a fully loaded pack, as an added movement anchor, and may signal your presence to snakes in certain areas.
- Hydration bottle. A large stock of liquids will be critical to maintaining your body during the trek, requiring a water tumbler of adequate volume. Some hiking experts claim that stocking up on at least a litre of water is ideal for hikes in cooler weather that last up to three hours and go a few kilometres. Handy tips include filling up the tumbler or hydration pack to half capacity and leaving it in the freezer overnight then add more tap or chilled water the next day. Mixing the water with electrolyte powder ensures your body will have a constant supply of electrolytes that go out in your sweat.
- Survival gear. Round out your hiking kit with essential items such as spare changes of clothes, a first-aid kit, personal ID documents, food, and gadgets. Important gadgets to bring on are a GPS tracker and a smartphone, particularly if your telco has adequate coverage of the area you will visit. Ideal food items to bring on say a short hike are nuts, granola bars, trail mixes, freeze-dried fruit snacks, and energy bars.
Some outdoor adventure experts believe that going out on hikes will have a number of cardinal elements to adhere to, for your utmost safety.
For starters, you must be in good physical condition to manage the entire hike, which will require extensive medical consultation beforehand. You or a companion must have at least basic knowledge of first aid to prepare for accidents along the way.
Even with durable clothing, avoid hiking in inclement weather as the ground will be unsuitable for foot traffic. Coordinate your travel with your loved ones and give them important details about where you’re going. Make sure your kit contains ample rations and liquids; however, avoid drinking diuretics as they accelerate dehydration.
Once you are in the park where the trail is located, please comply with all the rules laid down. Never stray off the trail, even when you’ve researched it before and you have a map and compass in addition to your tech gadgets. If you are in a party, you must remain within their line of sight. Take short breaks in the shade during daytime; seniors are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke.
Where to hike?
The decision to hike is above all a personal choice, and so are the trails you want to tackle. However, all of them have their own levels of difficulty, requiring the hiker to be of ample physical shape.
For people who have never done hiking before, some adventure professionals recommend researching noted hiking/walking trails in a capital city; they are well-maintained, and have guide markers for easy navigation, as well as short distances in certain cases. Latter examples of these are the Black Mountain Forest Loop in ACT at 2.2 kilometres and the 1.9km Hermitage Foreshore Trail overlooking Sydney Harbour.
ASAG Reverse Mortgage — An aid to your hiking journey
A company like ASAG can aid your hiking journey by arranging for a loan equal to your home’s market value to be released to you. The money would then cover all associated expenses as you plan your outdoor holiday, with repayment to be made on your own time.
Retirement is the perfect time to enjoy life after a long time of toiling. Get ready to pack up and hit the trail. Inquire your options with ASAG at 1300 002 724 or email us at email@example.com.
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