Hiking can provide a long list of benefits. Aside from being a good form of exercise, hiking can also open doors for you to meet and mingle with other people. But as rewarding as a hiking session is, it will also require careful preparation for you. If you’re not mentally and physically fit for a hike, don’t expect that you’ll be able to finish the trail or experience any of its benefits.
Going to a hike unprepared can only end in injuries and accidents.
“As rewarding as a hiking
session is, it will also require
careful preparation and
the proper gear.”
Contrary to popular belief, preparing yourself for your next hiking trip doesn’t need to be stressful or expensive. Aside from checking different outdoor gear reviews, take note of the following tips:
1. Start Walking Now
While this might be the most obvious way to prepare for a hiking session, you’ll be surprised how many people fail to do this. Make sure that you don’t commit the same mistake by walking as soon as possible. Depending on your skills and experience, you can start by walking for small distances and working up to the distance you’ll have in your next hiking session. Gradually increase your pace and distance.
If you’re still a novice hiker, don’t forget to leave a day between each walk so your body can rest and recover. As your body gets fitter and your pace improves, you can try to do back-to-back walking sessions each day. Doing this can help you build stamina, which can be really helpful if you’re planning to have a 10-day hike soon.
2. Incorporate Leg-Based Cardio In Your Physical Routine
Aside from walking different distances, carefully incorporate leg-based cardio in your routine. You can opt to alternate having walks and cycling. You can also consider swimming, spin classes, and gym workouts that focus on the legs. Doing leg-based cardio is an excellent way for you to build up muscle in your legs. The stronger your legs are, the easier it’ll be for you to endure long walks.
3. Take The Stairs Every Chance You Get
A hiking session will not only require you to walk for long hours; this activity will also require you to survive different terrains. While some might be smooth, expect that others will be steep, narrow or rocky. As one way to prepare for your next hiking session, take the stairs every chance you get. This means taking the stairs at work or when you’re going to the train station. You should avoid using a lift or escalator, and opt to use the stairs instead.
Climbing the stairs can be a good form of exercise for you to build up your calves and quads. It’ll be effortless for you to swift through different terrains when your calves and quads are strong enough.
4. Train With A Backpack
You will be bringing your backpack during your hike. This is where you’ll place all of your essentials, which can include your sunscreen, camera, snacks, and water. If you’re looking for some challenge, train with a backpack weeks or months before the actual hike. When you’re already used to carrying weight on your shoulders, your upcoming trek will become a walk in the park.
5. Always Keep Your Tank Fuelled
Regardless of how hard you train, if your body isn’t full of the right nutrients and minerals, completing a hike will still become a challenge. In worse cases, you might not even complete the hike. To ensure that this will never happen, always fuel your tank. You can do this by bringing nuts and dried fruit in your upcoming hike as these are excellent sources of protein and energy. This selection, along with other healthy alternatives, should be prepared in your backpack days before the hike.
6. Invest In A Good Pair Of Shoes
Hiking can be very beneficial for your health in more ways than one. However, keep in mind that your feet does most of the work during a trek. Aside from training physically for your upcoming hike, invest in a good pair of hiking boots. You should buy a pair from a reputable brand and ones that offer support and ventilation. If possible, wear these shoes while training. Doing this will help avoid blisters and bunions.
Preparation Is Key
Regardless of how expensive your outdoor gears are, if you’re not physically and mentally prepared for a hike, don’t expect that you can make the most out of your purchases. More often than not, you’ll be clueless on how to use these gears. Make sure that you don’t experience any of these by using this article as your guide.
What are your favorite hiking tips?
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