Hiking endurance is a vital part of any outdoor adventure. You need to be able to push yourself through the day and make it back home in one piece. But if you’re not careful, this type of exercise can actually put you at risk for heart disease or other health issues. So how do you prevent them? Here are my top tips to improve your hiking endurance:
Ways to Improve Your Hiking Endurance
The first step towards improving your hiking endurance is to get some exercise every day. If you spend at least 20 minutes walking each day, you’ll start seeing improvements in your cardio fitness. Walking also helps burn calories, which means that you’ll lose weight as you become more fit.
Try to eat healthy foods when you are on your hike. Make sure to pack plenty of water along with snacks like granola bars, fruit, nuts, and trail mix. Try to avoid eating too much junk food before you set off on your hike. Junk food may make you feel full faster, but it won’t give you energy to complete your journey.
Make sure to take breaks during your hike. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery and try to stop every once in a while, to admire the view. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t push yourself too hard if you haven’t been exercising for a few days. Your body needs time to recover after being active. Don’t overdo it.
Let’s get started!
Run or Walk
Although hiking isn’t directly related to running, it’s still a great pre-trail workout option. Hiking will build strength, build endurance, and improve coordination. Start out slow and gradually increase your mileage. Don’t overdo it, though, so you don’t end up injured.
Get some good trail shoes. If you haven’t bought new hiking boots yet, now would be a good time! For women, I recommend buying booties or high-top walking shoes instead of sneakers. If you choose to wear boots, make sure they fit properly before hitting the trails. Do this by wearing them around the house first, and then stepping into them outside to see if they feel comfortable.
Start Weight Training
One of the most important aspects to improve your hiking is maintaining your endurance at all times. If you don’t have solid strength and stability in your legs and core muscles, you could easily fall off a trail or fail to ascend steep hills. This puts you at risk of injuring yourself or damaging your equipment. To avoid injuring yourself, train your body to keep its balance as well as strengthen your lower leg muscles.
Do squats. Squats are perhaps my favorite exercise. They work your entire body including your glutes (butt), thighs, upper arms, shoulders, and more. Just like with any other exercise, you should start slow and build up intensity until you reach your goal weight. Don’t forget to vary your routine too. Try adding lunges and calf raises.
Do pushups. Pushups are another easy way to get stronger without spending much money. And since they require minimal space, you can even do them anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying down.
Try Hill Intervals
High-intensity interval workouts are extremely effective at improving overall fitness levels. They work by forcing your body to adapt to stress through frequent bursts of activity. These types of workouts are ideal for those who have limited time to exercise each day. However, they are not recommended for beginners who may find that their bodies cannot handle such intense workouts.
Hill intervals are a form of HIIT training that involves alternating between short periods of high-intensity exercise followed by longer recovery periods. During these short periods of high intensity, you’ll be able to work harder and burn more calories than during the rest of your workout.
During hill intervals, you’ll want to pick a moderate incline and walk briskly for 30 seconds. Then, run as fast as you can for 10 seconds. Next, jog for 5 seconds. Repeat this pattern three times. Afterward, take a 2-minute break and repeat the process again. That’s one set. Take a 1 minute break after completing 6 sets of hill intervals.
If you’re looking to lose weight, try using a treadmill. Treadmills allow you to go at a steady pace and focus.
Increase Your Exercise Frequency
Hiking is a great form of physical activity because it doesn’t require expensive equipment or specialized skills. However, hiking alone isn’t sufficient for improving fitness. To really see progress, you need more frequent workouts. With just one workout each week, you won’t improve your endurance. Instead, increase the number of sessions you have each week until you reach 5-7 times per week.
For example, if you typically hike once per week, increase that frequency to 3 days per week. You might also consider joining a local hiking group so you can meet new people and make friends along the way.
Work on Your Breathing Technique
Shallow breathing is one of those things that we don’t realize how bad it is until we start exercising.When you work out, breathing deeply becomes vital to preventing exhaustion. Deep-breathing exercises can be practiced anytime, anywhere. They won’t require any equipment and can easily be done at home.
The best deep breathing technique is called diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing requires a slight abdominal lift while inhaling. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you’ll feel less tired and more energized throughout your workout.
You can also practice yoga poses to help you breathe better. For example, inhale when you raise your arms above your head. Exhale when you lower them back down.
Water is essential for keeping your muscles healthy and strong. If you don’t drink enough water, your body will begin to absorb fluids from other parts of your body. This includes your brain and organs. As a result, you could experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hikes. It’s important to stay hydrated even if you aren’t sweating heavily. Drink about half your bodyweight in ounces every hour.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
When hiking, wear layers of clothing. The first layer should keep you warm and dry. A second layer should provide insulation against windchill. And the last layer should protect you from the sun.
Most hikers prefer lightweight fabrics such as cotton or polyester. These materials are breathable and comfortable. But they may not offer much protection from the elements. In this case, you may want to invest in a rain jacket.
Choose an appropriate hat to shield your face from the sun. Also, carry sunscreen with you. Sunscreen prevents skin cancer and helps prevent wrinkles, which makes it ideal for active adults.
Use Proper Footwear
If you plan to hike long distances, choose footwear that provides good support and traction. Look for boots made of leather or rubber instead of plastic. Rubber soles are easier to clean than leather ones.
Also, look for shoes that are flexible and durable. Because hiking takes place over many miles, you don’t want to end up with sore feet. So, choose a pair of sturdy shoes that can withstand rugged terrain.
Build Mental Toughness
When it comes to hiking, there is no substitute for practice. Practice makes perfect! In fact, the more you practice, the better you become at it. If you enjoy hiking, try challenging yourself by tackling tougher trails or longer hikes. Try hiking in inclement weather or during the winter. Doing so will not only make you stronger and fitter, but it will also give you a greater appreciation for what Mother Nature has to offer.
Now that you know all the secrets to becoming a great hiker, you’re ready to take on the world. Go ahead and get outside today. You’ll be amazed at how much exercise and fun you can have.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your hiking endurance, then these tips are sure to help. We hope that by reading through them and implementing them in your routine, you will be able to get more out of each hike and keep going longer on the trails.
By following these steps, you’ll soon find that your hiking endurance will improve dramatically. Remember to stay hydrated so that you can continue to enjoy your hike without having to worry about feeling ill. Happy hiking!
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Arthur Lewis is a hardcore hiker, traveler, and adventure seeker. He is a blogger and writer for “Hiking Mystery,” and he lives in New York City with his pet dog, Chipi.
He is very fond of the outdoors and has visited many countries, including Iceland, Portugal, Brazil, and Costa Rica. He also loves to explore nature by means of hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He is an expert on travel, and he helps other people find the best way to travel by providing information about their options.