Walking and Hiking
First, consider meeting with an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. This vision rehabilitation professional is trained to teach safe walking techniques in your community. These may require using a long white cane or human or sighted guide techniques for safe travel with friends and family members.
Tips for Walking or Hiking
Once you have been assessed by an Orientation and Mobility specialist for independent travel in your community, try some of these walking tips:
- Create a routine or route that you can follow consistently to learn the particulars of the route, such as sudden drop-offs, protruding foliage, or interfering animals (and even neighbors).
- Use a field track or an indoor shopping mall for your walking routine. Many malls have “mall walking” groups that meet before the stores open for business.
- Ask if your local parks have special walking paths. Find out if the walking paths also have lanes for bicycles or runners, so you’ll know what side to walk on.
- Walk with a friend or family member who will help point out important safety issues along your route, such as construction sites, objects in your path, or even other walkers.
- Carry water for hydration and a mobile phone in case of an emergency. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Join a walking club or create a walking group. Studies have shown that walking with others increases motivation and adds incentives for longer walks, which can be beneficial to your health.
- Traveling with another person is usually a good idea for longer hikes to ensure your safety in an emergency.
- Try taking a sensory walk or hike, focusing on enjoying the environment via your senses rather than the distance to travel.
Websites for Additional Walking and Hiking Information