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6 Ways To Avoid Adventure Travel Injury

For many of us, Travel isn't travel without injecting a little adventure in there as well. Pushing your body and mind to it's limits, while taking in new surroundings and cultures really is the ultimate experience.
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For many of us, Travel isn't travel without injecting a little adventure in there as well. Pushing your body and mind to it's limits, while taking in new surroundings and cultures really is the ultimate experience.

Of course to enjoy these adventures, and keep coming back for more, you have to try and keep personal injury at bay. Accidents happen; The slip of a foot on a self guided hiking trail, or a tumble off your bike while attempting a tough corner through Italy's wine country. However, some injuries can be avoided, so we have compiled a short list of different ways to prevent injury so you can continue to sample the world - living on the edge and enjoying every minute of it.

Take a breather - sit back and enjoy our 6 Ways To Avoid Adventure Travel Injury.

#1 Listen To Your Body

Pain is your body's way of telling you something's up. Pushing through pain or ignoring it will only lead to further injury. Deal with injuries early on to help decrease recovery time and prevent a chronic problem from developing. An injury in one part of the body (Eg. The foot) can lead to problems further up the leg (Eg. Knee or hip) if it is not dealt with quickly. If you've taken a dive on a trail - don't brush it off as a "war wound". Get it looked at so you can get back out there injury free.

#2 Adventure Prep!

Kind of goes without saying that we're big fans of adventure travel. Of course with adventure travel comes the chance of sustaining injury. To avoid injury, prepare for your trip. Schedule in a training schedule months in advance of your trip that will get you ready for that particular activity. For instance, if you are going to be taking a self guided hiking tour, start your training by walking with the pack you are going to use and gradually increase the distance and weight of the pack. Add hills and valleys to your walks. Get used to the hiking gear you are going to wear. A little prep. can make your next adventure travel experience a fantastic one!

#3 Cool Down/Warm Up

Warm up's are essential. This can mean a quick walk, jog, or spin on an exercise bike etc. - until you break a sweat. Ideally your warm up activity will involve the muscles you are going to use during your work out. Warm up increases blood flow and oxygen to muscles and increases the ability of the muscles and connective tissue to stretch and prevent injury.
Stretching helps increase the flexibility of muscles so that they won't tear during an activity. Ideally, stretching should be done after the warm up and cool down periods. Choose stretches that will involve the muscles that are going to be used during your activity. Hear are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Do not bounce during stretching
  • Hold a stretch for 20-30 seconds
  • Do not stretch into pain as you could be damaging the muscle
  • Stretch until you feel a comfortable tension in the muscle, which should have lessened by the end of the stretch.
  • Cool down is done after your activity. It is basically a repeat of the warm up but the purpose is to remove the waste products from your muscles and prevent muscle soreness and stiffness.

#4 Maintain Your Equipment

Running, hiking, or cycling using worn out or incorrect equipment can lead to injury. Cycling with a damaged helmet or downhill skiing with bindings set incorrectly are safety issues that can lead to severe injury.

Proper sizing is just as important as equipment maintenance. Cycling on a bicycle that is too small or the seat is too low, can cause knee problems. Footwear that is too big often leads to blisters and lack of proper foot support. Cross-country ski poles that are too long can cause shoulder injuries.

Equipment can also include any braces being used to prevent re-inquiry of a joint. Make sure it fits properly and the material hasn't worn out.

#5 Exhaustion

A lit­tle exhaus­tion should be part of your expe­ri­ence while hik­ing or cycling, it means that you are push­ing your­self into new ter­ri­to­ries and will offer per­haps some of the best sleep you'll ever expe­ri­ence at the end of the day. But take exhaus­tion too far out in the wild and you could find your­self in a tough sit­u­a­tion. A com­mon cause of exhaus­tion is dehy­dra­tion and improper nutri­tion. Make no mis­take about it, when trav­el­ing on the trail you are burn­ing a lot of calo­ries and your machine of a body needs a lot of fuel. Bring calorie-dense (and light) food with you on trail, and plan your water sources before you go out; if all else fails, just shorten your intended mileage or take a break and extend the dura­tion of your trip.

#6 Muscle Stress

Noth­ing is more fun than hav­ing your legs cramp with every step you take up the moun­tain, or that feel­ing of your toes curl­ing in on them­selves as you lay in your tent at night. Cramp­ing is another com­mon hik­ing & cycling injury that is com­monly pro­duced by dehy­dra­tion. Sounds sim­ple enough then, to avoid cramp­ing make sure you are drink­ing a lot of water. But some­times in the heat of the moment, espe­cially if the moment is par­tic­u­larly cold, it can be hard to remem­ber to drink the appro­pri­ate amount of H2O. Stretch­ing before your big hike can help, and if you find your­self suc­cumb­ing to a nasty cramp, stretch­ing fur­ther can alle­vi­ate some of the pain. Con­sider apply­ing hot and cold tem­per­a­tures to the cramp and refu­el­ing with an electrolyte-dense sports drink. These solu­tions can often get you the rest of the way home.

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