How To Get Fit For Hiking
Let’s get one thing straight: hiking isn’t as simple as a walk around the block.
Hiking involves strength and balance, and you can expect there to be some hills, rough terrain and depending on how many days you’re going hiking for, some backpack carrying.
Hiking is challenging, rewarding and a whole heap of fun! Afterall, you’re spending time out in nature and in our opinion, there’s nothing better than that.
If you’re ready to hit the trails, here’s how you can be best prepared for your next trip.
The best way to prepare for a hike is to get walking.
If you’re planning to go on a hike, start off with some simple walks and carry a light daypack. These walks could be around your neighbourhood or in your local park. By mimicking the activity, your body is getting used to it.
Over time, as your body strengthens, you can increase the length of the walks, the elevation and the load of your pack. Throw in some hills and some stair climbs to prepare for the different terrain you may come across on the hike.
Our tip: wear the same shoes you’ll be wearing on the hike. Your feet will get used to the shoes and this will prevent blisters from forming when you do hit the trails.
If you haven’t hiked in a while, below are some great exercises to do in advance.
1. Use a stair-stepper, climbing machine or elliptical trainer. These machines will provide a great cardiovascular workout and will get your legs used to going up and down hills.
2. Do crunches, squats and lunges. By building your core strength, this will help to keep your balance on uneven surfaces.
3. Push-ups. Building upper body strength will help on longer trips where you’re required to carry a heavier backpack.
4. Step-ups. Start simple by finding a park bench and stepping up and down. Over time, add a weighted backpack to build strength and to help your body get used to climbing with weight on your back.
And don’t forget: try to incorporate as much incidental exercise into your day as possible. Whether it’s the gym, playing sport or chasing after your kids, it will all help to get you in the best possible shape for your hike.