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We all know that exercise does a body good, but finding motivation and time to work out can be

a challenge. As the temperatures warm up through the spring and summer months, it’s easy to get in an outdoor workout without even really trying. Find some walking routes or hiking trails, and you’ll have a great way to get the exercise you need while enjoying the nature love.

Walking and Hiking Essentials

To get the most health benefits from your hike or walk, you need to know where to start. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Find the right location

Your physical fitness will dictate what type of walking routes or hiking trails you can handle. Do some online research to locate popular trails, and be sure to map out the ones you can handle ahead of time.

  • Wear the right shoes

Protect your feet by wearing the right footwear. If you’re planning on a brisk walk for your outdoor workout, choose the most comfortable and supportive walking shoes. Depending on the ruggedness of the trail you hike, you may need solid hiking boots to protect you on uneven ground and slippery hills. Your local sporting goods store will have these walking and hiking essentials.

  • Bring a map and compass

You can find yourself lost on even the most seemingly simple walking routes and hiking trails. These days, most smartphones are equipped with both, but you may not have the service or battery power when you need to use them. Topographic maps and a compass should be carried as a backup to battery-powered devices. Not sure how to read a map or use a compass? Outdoor retailers are staffed with experts that can offer some help. 

  • Pack a water bottle

Staying hydrated is key to a successful outdoor workout. Be sure to bring a bottle of water or your favorite thirst-quencher to have at the ready along the way. If you prefer a hands-free workout, purchase some hands-free drinking gear. Planning an overnight camping trip? Consider bringing along water-purifying tablets or a filtering system.

  • Remember sun protection

The sun can be a killer on summer days. Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and pack the bottle with your hiking essentials to reapply. The exercise will likely have you working up a sweat and you’ll need to apply more as you go along. Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to wear SPF year-round, even on cloudy days.

  • Pack a pocketknife and/or multitool

If you encounter an emergency situation during your outdoor workout, these tools can be lifesavers for first aid, quick fixes and even food prep.

Maybe you’ve always liked nature but never realized you could use it as motivation to work out. If you’re looking to achieve a more active lifestyle this summer season, visit your local sporting goods store today to pick up your gear.