A hike down a local trail doesn’t often require many preparations. However, before you decide to pursue a miles-long endeavor, it’s smart to make sure you have enough strength and agility to complete your journey. There’s a lot to see and do that you can only access through a hike — and you don’t want to find yourself stuck halfway.
Here’s how to get in shape for hiking.
Create a Fitness Plan
A consistent workout routine can help you become a more stable and resilient hiker. You’ll likely have to navigate steep hills, tricky passages and uneven ground as you make your way from point A to point B. If you don’t look out for your body, it’ll be harder to complete your trip. That’s why you should stay as physically active as possible — even when you don’t plan to hike anytime soon.
Alongside strength exercises, it’s crucial to incorporate an agility-focused workout to keep your joints healthy. You’ll experience a few issues if you don’t usually engage your ankles and knees because you sit for the entire day. Try to walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes before you transition to these other exercises. This step will prepare you for hikes that require a little more endurance.
Don’t Drive as Often
Unless you live where it’s necessary to drive everywhere, it’s best to choose other modes of transportation. A bike ride can provide many essential health benefits your body needs for a difficult hike. You’ll enjoy various aerobic advantages if you ride your bike more frequently. It’s also a simple way to save gas money, reduce carbon emissions and breathe fresh air.
You’ll find you’re better prepared for a hike when you spend more time outside. When you’re used to outdoor physical activity, it’s a lot easier to enjoy these excursions. Plus, you may even discover some new areas around your town.
Go for Daily Walks
You should prioritize frequent walks, too. After all, you walk when you hike. This exercise should be even more important if you don’t have a chance to move your body as often as you’d like. A sedentary job can negatively impact your health overall. It’s also likely to hinder your performance on any given trail. You can’t expect to successfully transition from a stationary lifestyle to an activity that relies on constant movement if you don’t prepare.
If you don’t have much time to take a long walk on weekdays, it’s OK to go for a quick stroll around your block. Every effort counts.
Practice With a Pack
A longer hike almost always requires equipment. You’ll have to carry a pack with various gear and supplies — and those bags can weigh a lot. It’s essential to test your strength and endurance skills before you hike. If you practice what it’s like to hold a pack on your back for miles, it’ll be easier to bear when you’re on a trail. You don’t want to be down and out when you’re 30 minutes into a 10-mile journey.
You can use any old backpack to practice this exercise. Fill it with a few heavy objects, like textbooks or soup cans. You can then take a walk on a treadmill or around your block to adjust to how it feels. Try adding a few exercises to prepare your body to lift a heavy bag. You’ll be better suited for your future adventures this way.
Try These Tips Before Your Next Hiking Excursion
Whether you’re a beginner or expert hiker, it’s essential to stay active throughout your daily life. Otherwise, you’ll find every hike takes far too much energy. Use these suggestions to help your body and mind adjust to your new favorite activity.