Are you planning to go on a hiking trip? Then you are in the right place. We have made a list of simple exercises to help get you prepared for a less stressful hiking experience.
There are no doubts that hiking is a rigorous activity that requires energy. It isn’t just ordinary trekking as some people term it to be. Hiking is more than walking in the woods with your buddies and a few bottles of water; it’s an adventure and as such requires a great mental and emotional commitment. Before embarking on a hiking trip, it is important that you are physically fit to be able to withstand the rigors of the terrain until the end of the course.
There is no specific time to go hiking; some people prefer hiking in warm summer weather while others don’t mind backpacking, skiing, or mountain climbing in the snow. It doesn’t matter if you are pro summer hiking or you hate trekking in the cold; you need to be prepared for any outdoor experience. While you will need to ensure that you take with you all the important things you need to make your camping trip worthwhile, you also need to get your body in the right physical condition to walk for a long distance.
If you are just like me who barely use the gym or occasionally engage in physical activities, then you certainly will need to ensure you get yourself in shape before heading out on a hiking trip.
Most hiking trails are filled with uneven rocks and earth which can be uneven for you to walk on. You will need to balance yourself properly to be able to walk and avoid injury. A good hiking boot can help keep your foot firm and help with your balance as you move around. But there is just so little your hiking boots can do when it comes to having the energy to walk long distances with a backpack on.
We have put together a detailed guide to help you get in shape for your hiking adventure. We will start with some of the basic fitness routines you can engage in to help get you in shape.
Hiking Exercises You Should Engage in Before you Go Outdoors
If exercise isn’t part of your daily routine, you should endeavor to engage in a few warm-up routines to free up your muscles. The ankle is the most common part of the body to suffer from hiking related injury. It’s a common experience for hikers to sprain their ankle when they miss a step. Get yourself in shape for your next hiking adventure by making use of these few exercises
Go for a Long Walk
If you have not been physically active in a long while or it’s been long you took the subway, you can go for a long walk to stir up your heart rate. This also helps to massage your legs muscles and free up your waistline. You can begin with short distances and work your way up. This is a test to help build up your endurance. So it is important that you try to cover a long distance to work out your muscles.
Hit the Treadmill or Go for a Run
You can also get in shape for hiking by going for a run. If you don’t fancy the idea of running around the park, you can hit the treadmill and do some real-time. Alternate between high and low-speed simulations to give your leg muscles enough workout.
Use a Resistance Band
A resistance band can also be used to strengthen the muscles around the leg. Build a range of movements with the resistance band and gently workout around the knee and ankle.
Use Pushups to Work Out Upper Body
Pushups are a good home work out routine you can try to prepare your back for the long trip. Most times, when hiking outdoors, you may be required to carry a heavy backpack and it is only wise that you are prepared for it. You can check out for videos on how to do pushups for your back muscle.
Build Your Core with Crunches
A strong core is what you need to steady yourself along the hiking trail. Build your core with crunching exercises before you head out into the outdoors.
Add Squats and Lunges
You should include squats and lunges into your routine to help straighten your back and build your core.
Use HIIT to Prepare for Mountain Climbing
High-interval intensity training (HIIT) will help you to get ready to climb Mt Everest. These types of exercises are great for improving your aerobic and anaerobic response which is good for your strength. You can intensify your routine by doing more time on the treadmill and increasing the distance of your runs.
Use a Bicycle
Another simply way to exercise for your hiking trip is to ride a bicycle. You can use the bike for your short distance trips before you head outdoors. Take the bicycle instead of driving down to the store or circle round the block a couple of times a few days a week.
If the weather is right, the pool can also serve as a good place to stretch your muscles before your hiking trip.
Cardio is also Important
It is important to get your heart rate pumping to help increase your lung capacity. Go dancing, run up and down the stairs, and use the trampoline, anything to get your blood pumping.
Before You Head Out
Like we mentioned earlier, it is important that you are mentally and emotionally prepared for your hiking trip. It is true that the outdoors can have therapeutic benefits, and to make it a memorable experience, it is always best you go in company of others. Team up with your friends or go with a hiking tour and explore a popular hiking trail in your area.
In addition to trying out the physical exercises to get you prepared for hiking we mentioned above, we also encourage you to try out a few mental and emotional exercises we have listed below.
You need the energy to be able to hike a long distance, and you will need to eat right to get your body the energy it needs to support a long-distance walk. You will need to eat a balanced diet and get yourself just the right amount of calories you need. You will need to eat energy-rich food like carbs, proteins, and fiber. You should avoid sugary foods and anything that will increase your blood cholesterol level.
Now is also a good time to ditch the cigars and alcohol. You don’t want anything to mess with your lung capacity so as not to encounter any difficulties breathing when hiking in the mountains.
Lose Some Weight
You can also use this opportunity to lose some weight and get in shape. It can be a lot to carry a heavy backpack around uneven terrain, so also is carrying all those excess body fat. You could sign up in your local gym and get committed to shedding a few pounds before you go hiking. You can also try out a home workout routine to help you lose weight. You can also try out a weight loss diet to help speed things up.
Be Mentally Prepared
You will also need to be mentally prepared for your hiking trip. In addition to exercising your muscles, you will need to exercise your mind. This you can do by trying to clear your mind and try to focus your all your energy into getting yourself in shape. You can try out a few calming oils to help reduce the anxiety of any other thing that helps you to relax.
Take Your Exercises Seriously
It can be a big issue for you to stay committed to a fitness routine if you are not in the habit of exercising. This is why you need to ensure you follow up on your exercises and get enough movements into your daily routine a week or two before you go hiking.
You need to exercise properly to build your core, get up your cardio, build a stronger back, strengthen your legs, and steady your feet. So do well to give it all you’ve got.
Go on a Practice Hike
Finally, before the big day arrives, go out on a practice hike. Try to simulate the actual hiking conditions to prepare your body for what to expect on the d day. Walk on elevated and uneven terrains with a weighted sack on your back. This also provides you with an opportunity to try your hiking boots and see if they support your weight.
You should prepare yourself adequately for any hiking trip. This is necessary to prepare you for a nice and memorable outing. You can try out the exercises listed above to get you prepared for your hiking trip. Remember to pack your backpack with all you need; including your cameras to capture every single moment.