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IN SHAPE IN THE MOUNTAINS

A mountain trek or outing is a useful way to combine exercise with a low-calorie diet, but it is important to provide the body with the right energy sources and still be on a slimming diet.

A mountain trek or outing is a useful way to combine exercise with a low-calorie diet, but it is important to provide the body with the right energy sources and still be on a slimming diet.

Eating the proper food is very important especially for people who go for a whole day’s outing or on challenging treks. Food and drinks are essential to provide the body with all the nutrients it needs for maximum efficiency. All hikers must balance nutrition and personal taste by finding food that tastes good and by learning to eat according to their needs and eating habits.

The first rule is choosing easily digestible and absorbable foods. Some foods, rich in fats and therefore with a high calorie load (such as cured meats, fatty cheeses, sauces and dips usually served with stewed game), are not advisable because they are difficult to digest, especially in cold climates or at high altitudes.

During hikes you must remember to:

  • Eat small meals and snacks at regular time intervals, to avoid loss of physical efficiency caused by digestion overload.
  • A practical arrangement is to have five-minute stops every hour or hour and a half, with small snacks and a few sips of a drink, in order to supply your body with energy and liquids.
  • Drink frequently but take small sips, possibly add salts to replace the salts lost via sweating and increased breathing rate (due to exertion and altitude). You should never feel thirsty.
  • Always keep fresh or dried fruit in your backpack, such as dried apples and apricots or almonds and nuts, which you can eat in small quantities. These foods supply carbohydrates and minerals such as potassium, sodium, chlorine and magnesium.
  • Proper equipment has advantages - high trekking boots to avoid sprains, a stick for balance, a fully charged mobile phone for emergencies.