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Your first hike should not be a difficult one, either long in duration or through tough terrain. We mention that upfront because sometimes there’s a mistaken belief by exercisers whooccasionallyhitthe gym or walkaround the park that it’ll be the same. It isn’t.

Difficult hikes demand more of your body. So, it pays to have some recent hiking experience and then to prepare for it. That way, you can complete the planned hike successfully and not need to turn back early.

1. Planning a Summer Hike? Try This First

It’s necessary to prepareyour legs and arms for a strenuous hike. Thiswon’t happen overnight. To build leg and arm strength, plus develop enough endurance, it’s necessary to put your body through its paces.

Building up cardiovascular strength by using a rowing machine is excellent preparation for more strenuous hikes. It’lldo more for you than a treadmill alone and can help you to avoid injuries that could set your plans back further. These rowing machines offer an amazing workout because they enable you to adjust the difficultywhich will help you build up power and stamina over the next few weeks.

2. Think About the Incline and Other Factors

Some hikes are on pre-made paths that are designed to increase safety and smooth the way. Others will take you over rocky outcrops, paths that undulate regularly, across creeks, and more.

Along the way, the incline might change frequently and include steep sections that will challenge even the fittest of hikers.

Hiking trails have difficulty ratings thatconfirm how hard they will be to complete. Ifyou’ve previously completed a circuit that had an easier rating, that can give you the confidence to move up a difficulty level. Avoid letting your ego make decisions about how difficult is too difficult though.

3. Get into a Regular Stretching Routine

Walking trails that include steep sections can lead you to extend your legs to traverse an open section. This is common when moving from one boulder to another on trails that hug a mountainside. When doing so, it stretches out your hamstrings and several muscle groups.

To protect against injuring yourself and creating a problem with getting back to the starting point if you become immobile, it’s sensible to create a regular stretching routine. This should be performed every day, or every other day, to help your body to become more flexible. In turn, injuries will become far less likely. While hiking regularly will keep you fit, stretching will help youavoidstrains on tougher hikes.

4. Practice with a Backpack

When going on a hike, you’ll usually have a backpack strapped to your back so that you can carry your essential supplies.

Perhaps you’re planning some overnight camping or have other supplies that you’d like to bring along? This will add to the overall weight that you’re carrying and could put you off-balance if you’re not used to it.

Practicing going on easy hikes with a loaded pack will be beneficial for tougher hikes to come. Your back will become strengthened as it gets used to the extra weight. While it won’t feel fantastic, later you’ll be glad you prepared in this way.

5. Plan the Hike with Other Experienced Hikers

Don’t plan to go hiking alone. Develop a group of ardent hikers who love to get out on the trail. Go on shorter, easier hikes to prepare as a group for tougher ones later in the year when the temperatures and weather are more hospitable. If you take the time to plan and prepare for the toughest hike of your life, you will have more confidence that you can complete