Train For HikingSep 03, 2021
By: Tayler Provost
Like any other sport you need to train for it right?
Well, doing the right exercises to prepare you for these rigorous hikes is just as important. Most people probably think, “ehh I walk enough and go for runs sometimes, I will be fine.” Yes, hiking is considered cardio because its mainly based off endurance. But when hiking on trails with steep rocks and high elevation, not to mention with heavy gear; it also involves strength.
Strength training, endurance training, cardio and overall improvement of balance are all equally important. Think about it, training your lower extremity muscles is going to keep you going longer when doing repetitive motions on an incline. Having a strong core will support you with a heavy pack on. Building up stamina won’t make you feel gassed a mile in. Strengthening your hips, lower back, and hamstrings is going to diminish the sciatic pain you feel from your backpack rubbing.
If you are getting yourself prepared for a longer than average hike you want to be sure you are getting an adequate amount of steps in each day, more so than you typically would on a normal day. This means adding in an extra walk, maybe one that entails wearing your choice of footwear that you’d hike in, or wearing a pack to get use to the weight. Then there is the specifics of, “okay but what else should I train?” This will all depend on your body and your goals; because there are so many exercises that you can benefit from.
Hiking has definitely become the newest “fad” over the past couple of years, and that is great and all but the thought of hiking and actually being ready to hike are completely different. A perfect example of this, was the excessive amounts of unnecessary search and rescues this past year. These calls ranged from those who simply underestimated the difficulty and length of the hike, those who forgot to bring water, and those who didn’t wear proper clothing and footwear.
Moral of the story, proper training can go a long way and with that being said… Happy Trails!!
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