While we all think of hiking as being exercise, doing a few different exercises before the hike to prepare your body will make hiking a more enjoyable way to get fit. It’s preconditioning your body to prepare it for the bigger activity you’re looking forward to. You’ll find the hike easier and will be less likely to encounter injuries when you start an exercise routine before a big outing.
Cardio and balance are a big part of hiking. While you may be able to walk 10 kilometers on a flat trail, the ups and downs of hiking require more muscle strength and endurance. Balance helps to keep you upright and stable while hopping a creek bed or tottering across logs.
Experts say to walk 45 minutes day 4 days a week on varying surfaces and inclines and on the fifth day increase that distance. By 3 or 4 weeks into training, you want to be at 2/3 of the distance of the hike on a wide range of surfaces. One-legged squats, the yoga tree pose and core exercises like planks will help with core strength and balance. Do these exercises each day you walk.
With some pre-exercising, the big day of the hike will be far more enjoyable!