We all know very well that hiking is an adventurous activity, and it is a very demanding activity. For hiking to be done, you must be in good shape and fully prepared for it. If you do not design well for hiking, you might be exhausted and fully tired after the first hike.
Before hiking, you have to give yourself anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks to prepare your body for hiking. If you want to go for longer heights which are more difficult, you must prepare your body between 8 to 12 weeks. This post will discuss how to get in shape for hiking.
- How To Get In Shape For Hiking
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
How To Get In Shape For Hiking
Hiking is a great activity to explore new destinations and places. While exploring beautiful and new challenging areas, you are challenging your body and mind.
So for proper hiking, you must prepare your body and mind and ensure you are ready to tackle any trail. You have to go through rigorous different workouts and exercises to prepare your body.
We will discuss all these things in a detailed letter in the post. So let’s start.
Make A Workout Plan And Track your Progress
When you want to start a new exercise routine, you must pace yourself. Starting with the short work is not very difficult. With time, you should increase your walking distance gradually.
After that, make a proper workout plan you will complete at a particular time. In this way, you will lead up to your big hike.
Go For A Brisk Walk
You must start your training by starting with a brisk walk. This is for those people who are novice hikers. You can go to the local park for a walk or to the beach or around your neighborhood. But you should walk faster enough to increase your heart rate and work up a sweat.
You can also walk up and down hills, which gives you the feel of hiking realistically. You can also go to Sandy places to hike e.g beaches, and desert.
Keep in mind that walking on the sand will help build the ankle and key leg muscles, stop working in the strange and prevent the strains once you are out of the trail.
Do Different Cardiovascular Exercises
It would help if you did different cardiovascular exercises at least five days a week. The duration of these types of activities ranges from 30 to 60 minutes per session.
First of all, start the workouts at a moderate level and breathe heavier than usual during the exercise. Make sure that during these types of cardiovascular exercises, you should sweat.
It would help if you did cardio exercises of the lower body, as the legs are predominantly used during hiking. You can also go for cycling, running, and stair climbing because they are all lower-body workouts.
Running, Cycling, And Swimming
You can start cycling, swimming, or running to build your endurance. You can start with one activity or go for all these three activities.
You will be surprised to know that it is one of the best anaerobic low-impact workouts if you swing.
You should also do strength training for about 2 to 3 days per week to prepare yourself for hiking. Strength training is very helpful in building your upper and lower body muscles.
It would help to strengthen the upper and lower body muscles while hiking. You must carry your heavy backpacks with food and other essentials. Not putting a lot of weight on your back is necessary as it will harm you.
You should go for almost 6 to 8 exercises for the back and chest, legs, shoulders, and arms.
Please start with different work out throughout your week. We can also call them a weekly workout, which is more challenging and increases your strength, agility, and endurance.
However, on the other side, running is one of the best exercises to prepare if you want to go for tracking and mountaineering. You can also go for some endurance exercises for about 2 to 3 days a week.
So start with at least 10000 steps every day. Remember that 10000 steps are equal to almost 5 miles of walking. You can count your actions through a pedometer or other step counter.
While starting these kinds of exercises, you might feel exhausted at the start, but later on, you will be used to it. Make sure that you regularly walk at least two times a day.
According to health specialists, constantly moving or doing these exercises will improve your health and strengthen your physical endurance.
Focus on leg strength
Strength training is good practice for athletes and hikers, but leg strengthening is very important if you want to go, particularly hiking. We all know very well that doing bulk work, we must focus on leg strength.
Calf raises, squats, and lunges are the best option for leg strengthening. You can try out these exercises in your home.
You can start this by stepping on and off a step or exercise platform. Make sure that you are also increasing the height gradually as you progress. You can also set the treadmill at a higher incline for good preparation.
Your back should be stronger to carry the heavy backpack while hiking. For your adventure trip, you need a little bit of food, a few water bottles, and other essentials.
So for caring for these essential things, your back should be stronger. You can practice this by strapping your backpack on your back and working up and down the stairs.
You will wonder whether this kind of activity is great training or preparing yourself for hiking. So to prepare yourself for hiking, you can also get in shape with a few water bottles and an adventure pack.
However, on the other side, you can also get your calves and back ready for the weight by walking up and down the stairs with the backpack. This thing will also build up your essential core muscles. Also, it helps in the building of the upper body and shoulders.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Be In Shape For Backpacking?
For backpacking, you can be in shape in at least 12 weeks. So for this purpose, you should start your training at least three months before the next trip begins. You will be in shape and improve towards a healthy pace.
Is It Possible To Get In Shape Just By Hiking?
Hiking is a tricky activity, and sometimes you have to encounter difficult trails. You will be surprised to know that you can easily burn around 400 calories in a moderate 1-hour hike.
Not only are you burning 400 calories, but you are also strengthening your lower body and core muscles. Wherever you go towards the elevation, it will benefit you in more ways.
Basic hiking trails are accessible to different ranges of people. It is to note that you do not need to be physically fit for basic courses. But if you want to try serious backpacking and going uphills for hiking, you have to be physically fit.
For longer hikes, you can go hiking on short local trails. But it would help if you spent some time in the gym as doing different exercises will improve your strength, resilience, and stability.