Hiking is truly a great activity even though it can be difficult to get in shape for a big hike. On the surface, it would appear to be nothing more than an extended walk or a great workout.
Yet, in the midst of it all, hiking can be all-inspiring. Breathing the fresh air, taking in scenic views, and being one with nature is physically and mentally healing, making it a fantastic thing to try.
If you’re planning a hiking trip, however, it would behoove you to make sure that you’re up for the excursion.
It’s more than just walking a trail and requires you to have strength, balance, and endurance to get through. Gearing up not only means finding the right equipment and the best attire for the occasion, but it means making sure that you’re in shape for the course that lies ahead.
Here are some health and fitness tips sure to help you triumph on the big hike.
Choosing the Right Trail
It wouldn’t be a good idea to choose a hiking trail based on photos you see or destinations you’ve always wanted to try. The reason is that not all trails are created equally. Though you’re going to be training your body to be in shape, you shouldn’t choose a trail outside of your comfort zone.
You need to consider things like trail difficulty level and your fitness abilities. If you’re a beginner, and you like the idea of seeing sandy beach coasts, then you’ll love La Jolla weather and trails like Razor Point.
Check Your Health
Hiking takes a great deal of energy and strength and you want to ensure that you’re physically capable of handling it. If it’s been a minute since your last wellness checkup, now would be a good time to schedule one. Have the doctor conduct a physical and basic screening to make sure that your vital organs and overall health are up to par.
Get in Shape by Working Out
You may not be an aggressive gym-goer, but it can’t hurt to help you get in shape for a big hike. You can find a cheap gym nearby that offers an array of exercise equipment and classes for you to partake in. Visiting even 3-5 times a week can make a significant difference. You can walk the treadmill, do squats and lunges, or join a boot camp to whip you into shape in just a few weeks.
Watch What You Eat
Trust me when I say it’s not easy to eat healthy food all of the time. When you travel for a living, you’re tempted with many delicious treats. After all, you’ll never see me bypass some of the delicious street food at the Luang Prabang Night Market or any of the floating markets in Thailand.
Though healthy eating is good all the time when preparing for a hike, eating the right foods is a must. Your body needs to be ready and that means more than working out regularly. In the weeks leading up to your big hike, try to stay away from things that aren’t good for you.
Reduce alcohol consumption, increase your water intake, and steer clear of artificial flavors, sugars, additives, and processed foods. Replace them with clean, organic, whole foods that provide nourishment to the body.
Practice Makes Perfect
Remember, if you’ve never gone on a hike before or aren’t usually an active person, your body needs to be trained to prevail. Practicing can help you to build endurance and strength that you’ll need for your big hike. Try to plan a few mini-hikes before the trip. Start with finding simple trails that you can complete in five minutes or so. Then, work your way up to larger trails as you feel comfortable and ready.
Getting your body in shape for your big hike requires a bit of effort on your end, but it’s well worth it. In working out, eating right, and practicing, you assist your body in developing the strength and endurance that will be required to get through the hike. Whether you’re headed to one of the country’s infamous national park trails or trekking it to sunny California and it’s sandy beaches, these health and fitness tips will ensure you get to experience the true advantages of hiking.
What are your fitness tips when you’re trying to get in shape for a big hike?