10 KEY FITNESS TIPS FOR HIKERS

10 KEY FITNESS TIPS FOR HIKERS

 

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.
There's no shortcuts but keep in mind that consistency is the key. Try applying one or two tips your next hike, then keep adding.

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. 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.

Pushing yourself too hard during a workout or hike and you'll feel sore for days. 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.

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. Gentle pressure and tension helps restore muscles to their optimal health. Foam rollers are great for calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. If your leg muscles are tight, try using the foam roller and holding the position for 30 to 90 seconds.

Foam rollers exist for the very reason that they help place pressure on tight spots within your muscles. Gentle pressure and tension helps restore muscles to their optimal health. Foam rollers are great for calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. If your leg muscles are tight, try using the foam roller and holding the position for 30 to 90 seconds.

FIT TIP #8 – STRENGTH-TRAINING WILL GREATLY IMPROVE YOUR HIKING

The quickest way to improve your hiking is to weight train with hiking in mind. Examples of the exercises are deadlifts, squats, and lunges. 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.

The quickest way to improve your hiking is to weight train with hiking in mind. Examples of the exercises are deadlifts, squats, and lunges. 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.

FIT TIP #7 – YOUR FOOD IS YOUR FUEL

The quickest way to improve your hiking is to weight train with hiking in mind. The movements copy what you'll encounter on the trail. Bonus tip - Start of with smaller weights and work your way up to increase resistance. Your body gradually be stronger and you'll be able to have more endurance and hike longer without taking a break. The snacks include energy gels and energy bars that are healthy and nutritious. For longer hikes, consider bringing home made food on the trail that only requires hot water.

The quickest way to improve your hiking is to weight train with hiking in mind. The movements copy what you'll encounter on the trail. Bonus tip - Start of with smaller weights and work your way up to increase resistance. Your body gradually be stronger and you'll be able to have more endurance and hike longer without taking a break. The snacks include energy gels and energy bars that are healthy and nutritious. For longer hikes, consider bringing home made food on the trail that only requires hot water.

FIT TIP #6 – FINE-TUNING YOUR WATER INTAKE CAN IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE

Increasing your water intake on the trail is vital. A rule of thumb is to have 16 to 28 ounces of water per hour on the trail.

Increasing your water intake on the trail is vital. A rule of thumb is to have 16 to 28 ounces of water per hour on the trail.

FIT TIP #5 – BE CAREFUL HOW YOU WARM-UP BEFOREHAND

Dynamic stretches (as opposed to static stretching) are the best bet to preparing your body for hiking. For maximum performance, try performing 10 repetitions of double heel lifts, lunges and leg swings before you hike.

Dynamic stretches (as opposed to static stretching) are the best bet to preparing your body for hiking. For maximum performance, try performing 10 repetitions of double heel lifts, lunges and leg swings before you hike.

FIT TIP #4 – IMPROVING YOUR BALANCE WILL HELP PREVENT INJURIES

Having proper balance can help all aspects of your hiking. We can not stress how important balance is as uphill climbs quite often require a lot of balancing on one leg.

Having proper balance can help all aspects of your hiking. We can not stress how important balance is as uphill climbs quite often require a lot of balancing on one leg.

FIT TIP #3  – CRUSH THE HILLS WITH INTERVAL TRAINING

Interval training is taking your body through high intensity exercise followed by a recovery period. The intervals help prepare you for the hills and step your body up to the common trail environments. 3 on, 3 off - Try to run hard for 3 minutes, then recover by walking or jogging for 3 minutes. Start with 4 reps and work your way towards 8 reps. Stair Repeats - Running up and down stairs helps build strength in the legs and prepares yourself for a tough trail. Start with 20 minutes first then work your way to 50 minutes.

Interval training is taking your body through high intensity exercise followed by a recovery period. The intervals help prepare you for the hills and step your body up to the common trail environments.

3 on, 3 off - Try to run hard for 3 minutes, then recover by walking or jogging for 3 minutes.

Start with 4 reps and work your way towards 8 reps.

Stair Repeats - Running up and down stairs helps build strength in the legs and prepares yourself for a tough trail.

Start with 20 minutes first then work your way to 50 minutes.

FIT TIP #2 – RESTING IS PART OF TRAINING.

Rest is an integral part of training for hiking. This allows your body to fully recover and dispose of the waste products built up by training for hiking. Resting also allows your body to take a psychological break from the training and allows you to focus mentally on your hike.

Rest is an integral part of training for hiking. This allows your body to fully recover and dispose of the waste products built up by training for hiking. Resting also allows your body to take a psychological break from the training and allows you to focus mentally on your hike.

FIT TIP #1 – STRETCH AFTER EVERY HIKE. YES, EVERY HIKE.

After every hike your body needs to be stretched out to prevent muscle imbalances and improve the speed of the recovery process. Bonus tip – Try doing yoga once a week to optimally stretch out your body and become more flexible. This includes focusing on your hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and holding the stretches for at least 30 seconds to get the maximum benefit.

After every hike your body needs to be stretched out to prevent muscle imbalances and improve the speed of the recovery process. Bonus tip – Try doing yoga once a week to optimally stretch out your body and become more flexible. This includes focusing on your hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and holding the stretches for at least 30 seconds to get the maximum benefit.

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