How to go Hiking for the first time!

Love this information from the USANA Blog!

The trail marker was sufficient warning: primitive.

Head to Southern Utah. Far from the front gate of Arches National Park, there’s a secluded trail well off the beaten path. Primitive Trail is in the center of this desert wonderland, a spur of the Devils Garden trail system. It’s seven-mile trail requires scrambling over slickrock fins, pushing through sandy creek beds, and braving the dangers of the unforgiving elements.

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Devils Garden

It’s barren. It’s isolated. And it’s absolutely beautiful.

The payoff for surviving Primitive Trail is remarkable. There’s seven unique arches scattered along the trail plus the Dark Angel obelisk. The path takes you to vistas with sweeping views of the entire park and offers constant reminders that Primitive Trail is the result of 300 million years of wind and water erosion.

It’s absolutely my favorite hike in my favorite park.

Learning How to Hike
I wasn’t always a hiker. In my youth, I was much more interested in team sports or playing pickup basketball. But as I got older, the aches and pains of sports became too much. I needed an exercise that challenged me that didn’t require diving for loose balls on the black top.

Geography played to my advantage. Living in Utah, there are five national parks and countless trails close to Salt Lake City. I figured since I lived so close to so many natural wonders, I should start exploring the great outdoors.

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It was slow starting at first and I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. My thinking was hiking was just walking on a dirt, but there’s actually a little more to it than that. I wore the wrong shoes. And was either packing way too much gear or not enough water. And most importantly, I learned that reading the weather report was just as important as bringing a good set of hiking poles.

Also, I had absolutely no idea what to do when I saw a four-foot Great Basin rattlesnake. (For the record, I ran like a madman in the opposite direction.)

But in time, it got easier. My hikes went from hour long to day long excursions. Like any exercise, the more you practice it, the better you perform. And the benefits of longer hikes were more than reaching new summits—I felt stronger, healthier and calmer after every trip.

Here are some tips for getting off the couch and on to the trail.

Hitting the Trail
Let’s start with your basics. You’re going to want a good pair of hiking shoes. Nothing ruins a good hike like blisters or a twisted ankle. Make sure they have a good fit—snug but not tight—and gripping tread. There should be enough padding to take the pounding from the trail but not so bulky that you lose your balance. And don’t skimp on your socks. Stay away from cotton socks and go with wool or synthetic. They’re better at wicking away sweat and keeping your feet dry.

When dressing, think in layers. A good rule of thumb is to have a base, an insulating layer, and a shell layer. The base layer is the one you wear against your skin. It’s for keeping you dry. The insulating layer is designed for keeping you warm. Wool or goose down work best at warmth-to-weight ratios. And finally, the shell is to shield you from rain, snow, and wind. Remember: it’s always easier to add additional layers than to have just one heavy jacket.

A good backpack is key for a successful hike. Just like there are countless choices for shoes, backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. Bring the one for your trip that matches your needs. If you’re going out for a quick hour-long hike, a small bag will get the job done. Longer hikes might require more gear. My experience has been to always carry enough to survive for twice the hike. If you’re going out for half a day, plan on bringing enough for a full day.

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Gear Checklist

Hydration Station
Water is both your best friend and your worst enemy. It’s essential to stay hydrated on the trail—you can’t perform if you’re not getting enough water. And the symptoms of dehydration are horrible: headaches, muscle cramps, and dizziness. There’s absolutely no reason to go for a hike if you’re not packing the correct amount of water. Dehydration is serious business and will put you and your hiking companions in jeopardy if you don’t plan properly.

I make sure to start my hike with two liters of water. That’s enough for me to drink about a pint of water an hour for four hours. I feel that is a safe amount of water and I’ll plan my trip based on my consumption. Take some time to safely determine how much water you need based upon an hour of hiking.

Water does have a downside—it’s heavy. A liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds. A couple of liters of water can start to really add up when you’re huffing and puffing up a trail. As much as it stinks to admit, I’d rather have the extra weight and play it safe than pack lighter and risk not having enough to drink.

A simple life hack to get the fluids you need before heading out is to drink a liter before you start. It’s easier to carry a liter in you than in your pack. Also, make sure there’s water waiting for you back at the car or the camp site.

Leave Only Footprints, Take Only Memories
The longest stretch of Primitive Trail is from the parking lot to the entrance. This is where I like to limber up, double-check my boots, make sure I have enough water, and take inventory of my backpack. It’s my last chance to make sure I have everything I need before heading into the Utah outback.

Because hiking is physical, I know I’m going to get a great workout. If you’re a big guy like me, a 200-pound man can burn 550 calories per hour. And if you’re carrying a heavier backpack, expect to burn even more. Make sure to get a good breakfast (usually oatmeal, hard-boiled egg and a banana) and get enough water.

Even though I always hike with a partner, I make sure somebody back home knows where I’m going and when to expect me to call when I’m done. Cell phones are great for taking pictures on the trail, but don’t count on having reception when you get out there. Starting the hike is voluntary—hiking out is mandatory.

Tips for First Time Hikers

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Source: Ben Raskin USANA Blog

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Letting God into your Fitness Plan!


Source: By Sean Foy, MA
Daniel Plan Health and Fitness Coach

Daniel Strong = “A pursuit of excellence in body, mind, and spirit for God’s glory.”

We all want to be healthy, fit and happy…but it can be challenging to achieve with our hectic lives. Follow these ten steps from Daniel Plan Fitness Coach Sean Foy to help you become Daniel Strong and make a fitness plan that will work for you. Here are Sean’s tips to help you start and stick with your fitness plan:

1. You can do it!! The first step in reaching your health and fitness goals of an active, physically fit, Daniel Strong lifestyle, is to begin by believing that you can change. Forget about yesterday – no matter what your previous experiences or attempts to change your fitness habits in the past have been….today is a new day and with God’s help and strength you can do it – one day at a time!

2. Take Fitness Baby Steps One of the best ways to “ease” back into a regular fitness program is to “start small”. Set small realistic goals allowing you the opportunity to “fit” exercise into your daily schedule-as well as increasing your confidence as you accomplish small measurable goals.

3. Select exercises you enjoy I get asked all the time, “What is the best exercise to help me lose weight, get in shape or improve my health? And my answer is always the same – “The best exercise to help you get fit and stay fit is THE ONE YOU WILL DO!” In other words, choose activities you enjoy – not exercises you find to be boring or drudgery. Begin with exercises or movements which bring a smile to your face. Whatever brings joy to your heart and soul, you are much more apt to continue.

4. Get in touch with your “fitness personality”… Ask yourself: Do I like to exercise outside, inside, on machines, with others or by myself? Do I like to do other activities when exercising such as reading, praying, worshiping, watching TV, and listening to music? Do I prefer exercising at home or at a gym? Do I like to compete when I exercise (e.g. playing a sport or training for an event)? By asking yourself these questions, you’ll get a better sense of what your “fitness personality” is all about.Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 6.27.39 PM

5. Forgive!! Be aware of statements that produce self-blame, shame or guilt. “Oh, there you go again missed another exercise session!!” or “You will never change!” Typically, self-blame can spiral into a demoralizing way of thinking that can sabotage even your best efforts. If you miss an exercise session or were inactive for a short period of time, which will happen, don’t beat yourself up! Simply assess your lifestyle at the time and plan to get back into your new Daniel Strong active lifestyle. Maintaining an active healthy lifestyle requires patience, persistence and most importantly forgiveness.

You don’t have to be perfect to be physically fit and Daniel Strong!

6. Take Charge!!”Responsibility can be defined as the ability to choose your response”. Individuals who begin and maintain a Daniel Strong lifestyle recognize their ability and the freedom to choose their response in any situation. But remember, taking personal responsibility for your health and fitness does not imply that you have to do it alone. In fact, taking responsibility for your health and fitness should encourage you to proactively build a support team of good friends around you to encourage, assist and support you along your journey.

7. Plan your exercise before your week begins Good exercise habits happen because we make them happen. Take a few minutes before your week begins and plan out your week. Schedule “non-negotiable” appointments with yourself – jotting down on your phone or calendar the exact day and time you are committing to move your body. Soon enough, your regular exercise program will be something you cherish, protect and look forward to!

8. Increase your training slowlyTo help your body become Daniel Strong, slowly and incrementally begin to increase your training by 5-10% every week or every other week, based upon how you are feeling. Progression of your exercise routine is the key to getting into Daniel Strong shape. There are a number of ways to progress your workout such as:

Changing the number of repetitions
Increasing the duration of exercise
Increase the speed of exercise
Increase the number of exercises performed
Increase the number of sets performed
Increase the intensity of exercise-increase the elevation, RPM’s revolutions per minute.
Changing equipment or apparatus
Decreasing your rest interval
Change your position
Going from bilateral to unilateral –training one arm or leg at a time vs. both at the same time
Add a balance factor-when exercising such as using a ball, BOSU or foam roller.

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9. Track your progress Use a small notebook or your mobile device to keep track of your exercise duration, number of exercises, sets, repetitions and weight completed. Also, make note of how you feel before during and after your activities or workouts. If you want to simplify your tracking, check off the day you completed your exercise-and give yourself a pat on the back!

10. Fitness and Friends: Get a workout buddy who is at your level! Getting back into shape and becoming Daniel Strong is always easier with a friend who is at a similar or higher fitness level to you. Enlist the help of friends, family members (even your dog) who you know will be consistent and faithful to exercise with you….this will help you progress together as well as encourage you and keep you accountable.

It doesn’t matter where you begin – what matters is taking that first step and discovering the exercise you enjoy. Start small and make it a regular part of your life.

Just remember to take it one step at a time and win today!

11.Don’t forget to take your Supplements!  You need to put the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants back into your diet, that are missing in todays nutrition.

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