Many people think hiking is one of those relaxing pastimes that doesn’t require any preparation. But the more you start to do it, the more you realize there are numerous destinations with various gradients that can undoubtedly prove to be a considerable challenge. It’s not just the mental preparation, but it’s about making sure that you are physically able to hike properly. Getting in shape for hiking is something that people don’t necessarily consider, but what are the best things that anybody can do to prepare themselves?
Building Your Range Of Motion
If you are someone who seizes up as soon as you get out of bed, you may find your first few expeditions particularly taxing. It’s crucial to build your range of motion to strengthen your muscles and make sure that you are building your stabilizer muscles. You can do this through various exercises at home, but you also need to make sure that your body is conditioned appropriately for those activities. There are shortcuts to this. Processes like Trigenics Manual Therapy can start to condition your body, but it’s also possible for you to prepare your body at home by doing simple exercises like step-ups and improving your cardiovascular system.
You have to remember that you are going to be pushing your body beyond a typical afternoon stroll. A hike isn’t something that takes a couple of hours; it’s an all-day effort. This means that you’ve got to work on getting your heart rate up but also condition your body to get used to the physical exertion associated with hiking. The best way to begin is very lightly. As with any physical activity, the most important thing is not to overstep your mark. Get your body used to a certain level of intensity and gradually push just beyond your comfort zone. It’s also important to rest adequately. The very act of getting fit and building up your muscles is ensuring you have proper rest time to recover so you can do it again and go a little bit further. You can also make sure that you get your body used to long distances by just going for long walks. Start by going twice or three times a week and moving so your heart rate can gradually go up. You should also carry a light weighted backpack as this prepares you for carrying the gear.
Strengthening Your Joints
It’s not just about the muscles, but it’s about making sure that your joints are strong. Alternately your skeleton is the foundation for your muscles. And while you may think about hiking as purely being an uphill challenge, downhill hiking is just as tough on certain parts of your body, especially the knees. “Hiker’s knee” is a very common problem, but you can reduce the impact by building up your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. You could also purchase ankle weights and exercise with these or purchase trekking poles.
Make no mistake, hiking is a very physical activity. And for all of the more relaxing aspects of the journey, you can’t underestimate just how much of an impact it can have on your body.