On a warm sunny day, there’s nothing better to do than spend time enjoying the outdoors. The only thing that can make being outside even better is getting some physical activity in. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get outside on a summer day and stay active. For many people, the ideal way to spend a day outside is to go on a nice hike. Hiking is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family or get some quiet time alone to enjoy the scenery. However, a nice summer hike can quickly be ruined if you get injured and experience swelling around the ankle bone.

Like any physical activity, there is always the risk that you can injure yourself during a hike. To protect your muscles, you need to carefully stretch before you start hiking. Without proper stretching, you could find yourself spending the summer doing physical therapy in Plains, PA. To help keep yourself safe this summer, here are four stretches that you should be doing before your next hike. 

Calf Stretch 

To do a calf stretch before your hike, you’ll need somewhere to place your hands, such as on the side of a tree. Start by placing your hands on the tree with your arms out straight. Next, step back with one foot and bend the leg closest to the tree. Keep your back leg straight and your foot flat on the ground. You should feel the calf of your back leg stretch; Hold this for 30 seconds and switch sides. 

Standing Quad Stretch

For a standing quad stretch, start by standing straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Next, bend one knee so that you’re standing on just the opposite foot. Grab the foot of the bent leg and hold it back so your heel is touching the back of your leg. You can hold onto something for balance if necessary, as you shouldn’t be bouncing around during this. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Hamstring Stretch

No one wants to experience a hamstring injury. To start your hamstring stretch, stand with one foot crossed over the other. Keeping your legs straight, bend down to the ground and reach for it as much as you can. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and switch feet. 

Torso Twist

Your legs aren’t the only part of your body that needs to be stretched before a hike. Your torso will also put in a lot of work during your hike, so it’s essential to get that area warmed up, too. Torso twists are a great way of getting your torso ready and it also helps continue to stretch out multiple parts of the legs. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-length apart and raise your arms so that they reach to each side. Bring your left hand down to meet your right foot, keeping your legs straight. Stand back up and then repeat by bringing your right arm down to your left foot. 

Get Ready for Summer With Cawley Physical Therapy

As you become more active over the summer, you increase your chances of getting injured. If you’re feeling aches and pain or have recently been injured, it could be time to see a physical therapist in Clarks Summit, PA. We can help you work through whatever pain you’re going through so you can get back to enjoying your summer. 

To schedule your appointment with a physical therapist, contact us today.