Hiking is a great way to explore the great outdoors, improve your health and stimulate your mental health. But before you head out into nature, it’s in your best interests to make sure you are in good physical condition.
In this article, we explain how to go about implementing a fitness training program that will get you into good shape for hiking. The key areas to focus on in your training program are:
- Cardiovascular exercises to build up durability (running, aerobics, swimming etc.)
- Increasing strength in your legs and core muscles (shoulders, back, abdomen)
- Building endurance (hiking is a full day activity)
- Improving your balance
8-Week Hiking Training Schedule
If you’re new to hiking, don’t head out on a multi-day walking trail without engaging in a fitness program beforehand. Fitness experts recommend commencing an 8-week training program consisting of the following:
- 2 days a week of strength training
- 3 cardio sessions a week
- 2 days of rest
Two weeks before your trip change the cardio session to long hikes of at least 60-minutes. Wear a backpack that is close to the weight you will be carrying on your trip.
Give yourself two days rest prior to your trip.
Exercises To Perform At Home
- Jump squats
- Hip rolls
- Step ups
- Squat curls
- Hamstring curl
- Side plank leg raise
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to build up fitness and durability. Use this method as part of your cardiovascular sessions.
Before you start exercising, do a quick warm-up first. Five to ten minutes of stretching followed by 5-10 minutes of brisk walking is a useful method.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, move at your own pace, listen to your body and don’t push yourself to the limits. That comes later.
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