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5 Essential Hiking Tips for Beginners

5 Essential Hiking Tips for Beginners

Most of us need to exercise more, but we balk at the idea of paying for a gym membership, or get bored when stuck on a treadmill. If you are that kind of person, you may think that hiking is a better idea. Hiking lets you get some fresh air and explore the beauties of nature; you can go on all sorts of varied routes instead of the same exercises day after day, and it is fantastic exercise.

But hiking in the great outdoors is a much different experience from a stroll in the park, and a hiking beginner has to prepare thoroughly before setting out. Here are some crucial tips for any hiking beginner hiker to both to enjoy themselves and be safe.

1. Know Your Limits

The very first time I went hiking, I chose to follow along with my sister, who had been hiking in the mountains for years. While it was a great experience and the mountains were beautiful, I was completely unprepared for the challenge, and ran out of breath and energy way before she did.

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Hiking can be harder than it looks, and time spent in the gym or jogging on a paved sidewalk will not make you accustomed to walking up a steep dirt path, or navigating through branches. If you are a beginning hiker, look for beginner’s trails regardless of your physical condition and then work your way up. It is better to start with something too easy than push too hard and risk either injury ,or turning yourself off to hiking.

2. Avoid Hiking Alone

My first experience with hiking alongside my sister was a tough one, and I very well may have stopped early had I been by myself. But I kept up at it because I did not want to disappoint her.

Hiking alongside a companion like I did is crucial for a variety of reasons. There is the motivation factor, as noted above, and hiking alongside someone more experienced can teach you a lot. But the most important reason is safety. Traveling in a group will help deter wild animals and ensure that one of you can get help or perform first aid if the other gets injured. This is one of the key hiking safety tips all beginners should pay heed to.

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If you are having trouble finding someone to hike with, do not hesitate to ask on Facebook, or check out regional outdoors groups. The Outbound Collective has a good list of places where you can look to find a hiking partner.

3. Know the Ten Essential Supplies, But Don’t Overpack

Any hiking guide will talk about the Ten Essentials that you have to bring when going hiking. It does not matter whether you are simply taking a short two to three-hour hike, or are going to camp out overnight. You need food and water, a map and compass to help navigate the area, an emergency shelter, and a fire starter in case you have to stay out overnight, and so on.

But there are also things that you do not need to bring when going on a hike. While some first aid is essential, you do not need some massive pack containing medicines and splints, or a billion things that you don’t really know how to use anyway. Outside of the Ten Essentials, ask yourself if you are really going to need something on your hike, and don’t bring it if the answer is “maybe.”

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4. Check the Forecast

Bad weather can be an inconvenience at best and dangerous at worst. Rain and snow makes trails more slippery and streams harder to cross, lightning can be dangerous if you are stuck in a high place, and heat and cold have a way of sneaking up on you.

Always check the forecast at a website like NOAA.gov the night before you are planning a hike, as well as right before you leave, and learn to check the skies for things like approaching storm clouds. You do not have to necessarily turn back if there is just a light shower, or even a storm, but always prepare in advance.

5. Tell Someone Before You Leave

No matter how much you prepare before a hike, things can go wrong. There are plenty of stories out there about experienced hikers who make a few wrong decisions and find themselves lost or in deep trouble. Satellites and cell phones can sometimes help you get in touch with rescuers, but the most reliable method is to let a friend know in advance that you are hiking, and tell them to call the authorities if you are not back by a certain time.

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Do give some leeway. If you think you will be hiking for three hours, then tell your friend to call if you are not back in six hours. This will give you a cushion if things go a little wrong or if you just want to stop and enjoy the scenery for a while.

Featured photo credit: Joel Kamer via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level)

The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level)

Now is as good a time as any to focus on getting your body into the best shape possible.

Whether you want to build muscle or completely transform your body, if you follow the right workout routine for men, you will get exactly what you need. (No! It’s never too late to start bodybuilding, here’s the proof.)

Finding the right workout routine, however, is tough. You see, in order to progress, you need to find a workout that appeals to you and is feasible based on your abilities.

In this article I’m going to list 3 workout plans for men to build muscle. Each workout routine is tailored for individuals of different abilities: a beginner routine, an intermediate routine and an advanced routine.

What’s so special about this workout routine for men?

There are plenty of workout routines out there for men, so what is it about these routines that are so special? Well, they are tailormade to each unique individual, rather than covering a broad demographic.

Basically, each routine is engineered towards an individual’s ability levels and fitness levels in the gym.

It wouldn’t be much use having a very fit and healthy bodybuilder, with many years of training under his belt, following a workout routine for men that is aimed at complete beginners. He will already know what he is doing and will find the routine far too easy. On the flipside, if he is looking for a new and challenging workout routine, he can follow the advanced program and will enjoy great results.

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With that in mind, here are the three routines to try the next time you’re in the gym depending on your unique level of fitness:

Beginner full body workout routine

To start with, we’ll be taking a look at a beginner workout routine.

This workout isn’t too difficult; though, for those new to health and fitness, it will certainly prove challenging.

    Day 1: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Legs, Biceps, Triceps

    Day 2: Legs, Triceps, Biceps, Chest, Back, Shoulder

    Day 3: Shoulders, Back, Chest, Legs, Triceps, Biceps

    Intermediate workout for men

    This next workout is ideal for those of you who are advanced enough to challenge yourselves in the gym without going crazy.

    This workout routine will help you burn a steady amount of fat without burning yourself out in the process. It is a typical 5 day split that will yield impressive muscle gains.

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      Day 1: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

      Chest

      Triceps

      Shoulders

      Day 2: Back and Biceps

      Back

      Biceps

      Day 3: Legs

      Quads, Glutes and Hamstrings

      Calves

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      Day 4:  Shoulders, chest, and Triceps

      Chest

      Triceps

      Shoulders

      Note:

      Every second week superset bench press and dumbbell flys.
      Crossovers: Ultra slow rep timing with 2 second pause and squeeze at the top of the movement.

      Day 5: Back and Bis

      Back

      Biceps

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      Advanced Workout Routine For Men

      Now it’s time for us to take a look at the more advanced workout routine. This routine will really separate the men from the boys.

      It is high intensity, includes a lot of heavy lifting, and you should aim for minimal rest between sets.

      Here you will be training for 6 days per week, with just one day of recovery. It may sound brutal, but if you stick with it you will soon be reaping the rewards of an incredible physique.

        Day 1: Chest & Back

        • Barbell Bench Press – work up to a 5 rep max for the day
          • Set 1 at 50% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 2 at 60% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 3 at 70% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 4 at 80% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 5 at 90% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 6 at 100% – 1 set of 5 reps
        • Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
        • Dips – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
        • Pullups – 3 sets of 5-8 reps
        • Pendlay Rows – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
        • Pulldowns – 3 sets of 6-10 reps

        Day 2: Legs

        • Squats: work up to a 5 rep max for the day
          • Set 1 at 50% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 2 at 60% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 3 at 70% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 4 at 80% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 5 at 90% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 6 at 100% – 1 set of 5 reps
        • Leg Press – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
        • Stiff-Legged Deadlift – 5 sets of 5 reps
        • Hamstring Curls – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
        • Calf-Raise – 5 sets of 10 reps

        Day 3: Shoulders & Arms

        Day 4: Rest

        It’s your rest day. Rest your muscle to prepare for the next round of training.

        Day 5: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps

        Day 6: Back & Biceps

        Day 7: Legs

        Final Thoughts

        So, there you have it, above I have outlined three of the best workout routines for men that you could ever wish for.

        Each workout is tough in its own way, but if you stick with it, push through the pain and squeeze out those extra reps at the end, your body will thank you. Plus, you will look better than ever before.

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        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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