Hiking may not seem like a lot of work for people who haven’t tried it before, but it requires quite a bit of preparation beforehand. In fact, if you don’t prepare, you might find yourself fatigued and unable to move the next day if you’re not careful.
If you’re not that into physical fitness and at the same time aren’t much of a gym rat, then hiking is a great alternative. However, you should prepare your body nonetheless.
Whether you’re a trained sportsman or not, preparing your body before a hike is important. With that said, below are some ways you have to prepare yourself before going on a hike. Check them out below.
Give yourself time to prepare
Going on a full-blown hiking trip might not be the best course of action if you’ve never hiked before. Not only is your body not prepared to take it on, you probably don’t know what you need to bring with you to make the trip a success.
Before you schedule that trip, you need to ask yourself some questions. Do you know what you’re doing? Do you know what to bring? Is your body’s condition able to handle hours of walking and hiking different sorts of terrain?
If you answer no to at least one of them, then reconsider that trip you’ve scheduled and give your body some time to prepare for a hike.
Along the way, you’ll get to know hiking a little better. At the same time, you’ll also prepare your body for the toll as well.
Build your mental toughness
Your mental fortitude also needs a work-out before a hiking trip.
If you’re going on a long-distance hike, mental toughness is especially important. You’re going to be tired and uncomfortable a lot of the time when you’re hiking.
Given the fact that you’re traveling quite a bit on foot while carrying your pack with you, it’s understandable. Thus, you should mentally prepare yourself before each trip.
Do cardiovascular training
Your cardiovascular health and overall fitness will definitely be tested when you go on a hike. This is the reason you need to do some cardiovascular training first before you even think about going on a hiking trip.
You need to start slow and level up your workout as you go along.
Jogging is a great cardiovascular exercise. A combination of running and walking can help you get used to your body operating at a faster heart rate.
By improving your cardiovascular fitness, you will feel less fatigue when you finally go on that hiking trip.
Strengthen your back
When you go on a hiking trip, you’re going to be carrying a lot of items in your pack.
You’re carrying extra clothes, your food and water, your camping gear, and other hiking essentials. If you don’t strengthen your back, the strain of your pack could be a killer on the trail.
Consider putting a few items in your backpack and wear it on you then do a few exercises that will help you get used to it.
Step-ups are a great exercise for this. It will help your back, as well as your legs, get used to the weight of your backpack as you hike.
Do core exercises
Another part of your body that you should focus on when training for a hiking trip is your core muscles. Doing core exercises will not only help improve your abdominal muscles, but it also strengthens your back as well as your pelvis.
By doing core exercises regularly, you will also improve your sense of balance and stability which are both important when you’re hiking. It will help you stabilize yourself when you step on uncertain terrain on your hike.
Core exercises that you can do are crunches, the classic planks, and even the bridges. The dead bug is also a great choice for you.
Use hiking sticks
Speaking of improving your balance and stability, you should also start shopping around for some hiking sticks before you go on a hiking adventure.
Hiking sticks will help serve as leverage during uphill climbs, as well as keep your balance during iffy steps of the hike.
Not only that, but it will also help you get into the right pace and rhythm. Thus, making your hike faster and smoother than you would otherwise.
Another benefit is that they reduce the strain on your legs and your feet as it distributes the weight of your body very well.
Practice makes perfect
Of course, no one expects you to master hiking immediately even after doing all this training. You should do some short hiking trails in your local area and get yourself used to how a hike will go for you.
From there, you’ll learn your rhythm and even which areas you should work on more in your physical training.
Your hiking adventure should be fun despite being physically challenging. However, the challenge shouldn’t make you unable to enjoy the hike once again.
This is the reason you need to condition your body before you even think of committing to a hiking trip.
The items above should help you prepare yourself better before you go on any hiking adventures. From physical training to mental preparations, all of these are crucial to creating a better condition for you to go deep into a hiking adventure.