Whether you’re a beginner hiker or a seasoned hiking enthusiast, you’ll want to learn these key hiking fitness principles.
By mastering the keys below, you’ll get the most out of your trail time. Also, you’ll be in great shape for hiking those trails you’ve always wanted to try.
There’s no shortcuts here but keep in mind that consistency is the key. Try applying one or two tips your next hike, then keep adding. You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll grow and improve! Good luck!
Fit Tip #10 – It’s better to exercise a little and often, than to do a lot once in a while
Pushing yourself too hard during a workout or hike and you’ll feel sore for days. Beginners learn this the hard way and quite often question why they are sore.
It’s much better for your body if you progress slowly and train up over the course of months than to overdo it in the beginning. The key is consistency and not exhausting yourself in one go.
If you’re training for a big hike, start by walking 15 minutes every other day. If you feel comfortable, add 10% per week and you’ll be ready for that hike before you know it.
Fit Tip #9 – Be friends with a Foam Roller
Foam rollers exist for the very reason that they help place pressure on tight spots within your muscles. We find that using a massage stick works just as well.
Gentle pressure and tension helps restore muscles to their optimal health. Foam rollers are great for calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.
The benefits include restoring muscle fatigue, quicker recovery times and less chances of injuries on the trail. If your leg muscles are tight, try using the foam roller and holding the position for 30 to 90 seconds.
Bonus tip – Use a 1-liter water bottle in place of the foam roller on a trail during your hiking breaks.
Fit Tip #8 – Strength-training will greatly improve your hiking
Photo credit: Soccer Universe
The quickest way to improve your hiking is to weight train with hiking in mind.
That means to mimic the movements that you’ll experience on the trail. Examples of these exercises are deadlifts, squats, and lunges. These movements copy what you’ll encounter on the trail.
Try performing a series of these in a circuit and your joints will be well prepared to move through the full range of stability, strength building and resistance.
Bonus tip – Start of with smaller weights and work your way up to increase resistance. Over time, your body gradually be stronger and you’ll be able to have more endurance and hike longer without taking a break.
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