Trekking demands strength and endurance. Balance has a big part to play as well. To get you in peak condition for one-day and multi-day trekking, check out these tips for improving your balance.
You may just assume that you need a basic level of fitness and self-awareness to go trekking. It’s not until you reach the top of a tumultuous cliff that you realise how essential balance is at altitude.
Before you head for the hills, you need to ensure your body can cope with the potential rigour involved. And that involves being aware of your centre of gravity. So be certain to include balance training as part of your regular exercise.
Use a Balance Ball
Balance balls, also known as bosu balls or stability balls are dome-shaped on the bottom, with a flat surface on the top that you can stand on.
The domed sections are usually squishy. This enables them to take your weight and give you a platform so as not to rock you straight off them.
Sitting on a stability ball engages the stabilizer muscles in your core so are ideal for strengthening the spine, pelvis, hips and shoulders.
You can also lay on them and roll around to be accustomed to your body weight. This will help you become more balance-aware. However, the best balance training exercising for trekking is to stand on top of the ball.
The balance challenge is simply to stand on the ball for as long as possible. Once you’ve mastered this, you can test your balance even further by standing on one leg or performing squats.
Using a balance ball several times a week will help you find your centre of gravity more easily, which is super beneficial for trekking.
Walk The Plank
As discovered by every small child daring to walk on the edge of a balance beam, holding your arms outstretched is a great way to maintain balance.
Walking along a piece of wood or a wall is also a great balancing exercise to include in your trekking training. When you’re out in the wilderness, you never know what obstacles you will encounter; a narrow ridge and log crossing a stream.
Preparing yourself for every eventuality prepares you physically and mentally. When you’re out trekking you want to be assured of your balance, otherwise, you could go into a panic, and that would be dangerous.
Lean the Other Way
If you feel yourself swaying to one direction, rotate your arms to the other direction to balance your body straight. This is something we learn when we’re little, but we often forget to practice this when we leave the playground.
Newton’s third law states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so by leaning against the fall, you can attempt to even out your balance.
You see this exercise practised by Olympic gymnasts who are trying to change the direction of their stunt. And if gymnasts know anything, it’s how to perfect their balance.
Practice Walking on Different Terrains
This tip is especially helpful if you’ve been less mobile lately or you’re a beginner at trekking. Walking over different types of terrains physically prepares your joints for coping with uneven ground.
Walking on uneven surfaces engages different muscles and balance techniques. Practice walking on sand, grass and gravel in your bare feet to get comfortable on all terrains.
If there are any woods or stones paths close to where you live, weave them into your walking practice. Trekking routes often take you through wooded and rocky areas. The more accustomed you are to this type of terrain, the better prepared you will be for trekking.
Spread your Toes
Spreading your toes in your shoe improves your balance by effectively increasing the surface area you’re walking on. It also strengthens the muscles in your feet.
This is a technique practised by elite cheerleading flyers who have to balance on one leg in the air. Spreading your toes gives you a larger surface area to balance on and can come in useful whilst trekking.
If you are going trekking, don’t forget to download and activate the sweatcoin app. We convert your steps into digital tokens which you can use to purchase hundreds of products offered by our partners.