Optimize your hike

I spent the past weekend hiking by myself in Leavenworth, WA. My mind and body feel at ease when I am surrounded by mountains, birds chirping, and rushing water. It was so nice to be with nature and focus on my breathe. Nature always reminds me what truly matters.

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Through reading books, personal exploration, and studying, I have learned these 7 hacks when it comes to hiking.

  1. Use AllTrails

I absolutely LOVE this app! It is great for finding hikes, looking at reviews of hikes, and for finding the trail head. The best feature of this app is that it has a map of the hike you are going on and you can record your trail. It has saved me a few times when I have wondered off trail! You can also get awesome stats about the hikes you complete!

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2. Nose breathe while you are hiking

After reading the book Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, I realized the importance of nose breathing. When I hike alone, I really focus on nose breathing as much as possible. Focus on breathing less and slowing the breathe down. I really recommend the book Oxygen Advantage to learn more about how nose breathing improves oxygen uptake. Here is a list of the reasons nose breathing is so beneficial. I practice nose breathing as long as I can while hiking. When I am getting into higher elevations, mouth breathing becomes necessary but it is a good challenge to push myself with controlling my breathe.

3. Ground yourself with the earth

Grounding is such an important thing that many humans are missing in their life. See my detailed blog post on Earthing here. I am so passionate about utilizing Earth’s healing powers. Connecting with the earth will benefit you in so many ways!

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4. Hike with no headphones or music playing

Hiking with headphones in is incredibly dangerous! You cannot hear if anything is coming up behind you, or listen for animals in the trees beside you. Often times, I see large groups playing their speakers really loud along the trail. This can be disrespectful to other people hiking, and this also interferes with natures own sounds. Hike as quiet as possible and really listen to the sounds of nature. Our bodies are influenced by different sound vibrations and hearing the true, raw sounds of the universe will make your body feel amazing.

5. Bring the correct equipment

Depending on how long your hike is you will need to bring different equipment

Less than 1 hour- I would just suggest you have a bottle of water and I also suggest good hiking shoes.

Longer than 1 hour- 10 hours

Water: I suggest having a bag that has a reservoir in it. This means that your bag has a spot to put a water holder in it that can hold 2-3 Liter of water. These are often called hydration packs! It is important to have enough water for your hike. Brands I like are Osprey and Gregory. I suggest a 14 liter bag for shorter day hikes and a 28 liter bag for longer day hikes!

Shoes: Two brands of shoes I like are Oboz and Merrell.

Gear in your backpack: (this is all dependent on how long your hikes are, I carry all of this with me on any hike I do) I suggest always having a flashlight or a headlight. Food for your hike, napkins or kleenex, day pack first aid kit, mace, a small knife, portable phone charger, athletic tape for wrapping ankles, good sandals (in case something happens to your shoes, light to carry), extra layers if the weather is going to be cold and poles if the hike is steep.

6. Enjoy the water on the trail

If there is a lake at your destination, cold plunge into the lake! There are so many benefits of cold water therapy. Wim Hof is a great leader in this practice! If there are streams or creeks on the trail, dont be afraid to touch and play in the water. Do not drink the water unless you have a life straw (something I love). Running your fingers or stepping your feet in the water is so refreshing and has many hidden benefits for you to enjoy.

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7. Be with someone you trust

I love hiking alone (make sure to tell someone where you are going) but I also love hiking with friends. You always want to make sure that you are all on the same page with every hike you are doing. If it is a challenging hike, it is responsible to make sure everyone has proper gear for the journey. Something can even go wrong on a short 1 mile hike, so it is crucial to trust the people you explore nature with.
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Hiking makes me so happy! I am always trying to learn more and climb higher mountains! Reach out if you want any more advice or help with finding gear or a hike near you!

Love hard and stay wild

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XOXO

Em

Follow me on so Instagram- @living.wild.with.em

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf4MFORRTZZ-3hTzFX_2bYw
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Earthing from my heart

Walking through the dirt path covered in loosely torn up rocks, stepping over branches and roots of trees that are hundreds of years old, I take a deep breathe of fresh air and feel at ease. The comfort of nature and the world is undeniably present.

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The earth has amazing benefits and healing properties for all to utilize. I have been diving deep into research and self-exploration of something I feel true in my heart. Nature is our one healer and going without her is causing harm to our internal beings.

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The first study I will present on this topic demonstrates the earth’s effects on sleep, pain immune response, and takes a deeper look at the physiology.

In one of the studies discussed, subjects reported poor quality of sleep. They were instructed to sleep on the ground for 8 weeks. Results showed a normalization of cortisol levels, reports of better quality of sleep and decreased stress.

The earth helps optimize the immune system to prevent the onset of illness and fight off inflammation once it has manifested in the individual. Specifically, grounding an organism produces measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells (see photo), cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory response.^1 

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On a more physiological level looking at cell longevity, mobile electrons from the earth enter the body and act as natural antioxidants. In our cells, we want to have antioxidants to protect us from ROS (reactive oxygen species) which create an environment that is not beneficial for cell life. The diagram below is a broad explanation of this concept. 

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The electrons from the earth can maintain an antioxidant environment around an injury which slows or prevents reactive oxygen species from accumulating or surviving.

In one of my favorite books, Energy Medicine by C. Norman Shealy, the earth is discussed as being able to shield away and prevent the build up of electrical stress. The author reiterates something I am very passionate about “…the physical body has specific purposes, these purposes are carried out when the environment is optimal physically, mentally, emotionally, electromagnetically and chemically.”

 

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The health and happiness of your body is related to everything and all things in your reality or external stimulus.

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Time outside can produce benefits in your life, reduce negative emotions, and also improve cellular functioning.2

Nature and the benefits of earth are free for all who want them. You do not have to give anything to the earth and she gives all of her healing benefits to you.

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I feel it in my heart that the earth has healing properties waiting for you to tap into. You can read research and see all the proven benefits, or you can go experience it first hand and see how you feel.

Swaying through the trails engulfed by something so real, I feel alive and free almost like a gust of wind. The chirps and sings of the birds creates a response of joy in my soul. The fresh, pure air, fills my lungs with clean breathe. My hands can absorb how strong and wise the trees are with every touch. Trees are one of the longest living organisms on Earth, we can learn a lot from them. The earth is unbelievably raw and open. You can be open and completely yourself in nature and absorb the light energy to share with others.

 

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I hope you enjoy earth everyday with respect and love.

 

From deep in my heart to you, I hope you find some happiness in your world.

Embem

1. Oschman, James L et al. “The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.” Journal of inflammation research vol. 8 83-96. 24 Mar. 2015, doi:10.2147/JIR.S69656

2.Kerr, Jacqueline et al. “The relationship between outdoor activity and health in older adults using GPS.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 9,12 (2012): 4615-25. doi:10.3390/ijerph9124615