It will turn green again! The short, cold winter days give way to spring – a perfect opportunity to go hiking in nature again! – Except maybe for pollen allergy sufferers. But how long ago was your last hiking trip? If you like it, then physical fitness has not survived hibernation unscathed. But do not worry, I’ve put together some useful exercises here to help you prepare for your next trek!
How do I increase my fitness?
If you have some time to go on your next hike, you have the opportunity to prepare yourself ideally. Hiking takes up the whole body and the better you are trained, the more you can shine on the trail with your stamina, coordination, strength and agility. In addition, the less time you are exhausted, the longer your time outdoors will be.
Without good stamina, the hike can quickly become a torment. Although you can help yourself with frequent stops, but why resort to the emergency solution, if we can tackle the problem at the root. Now try to include more running tracks and stairs in your daily routine in the weeks before your hike. The pacemaker in a smartphone can be more than a gimmick and allows you to control how much you run. Stairs simulate the ascent that you have to face while hiking – the more steps you run, the better. If you are very determined, of course, now is the perfect opportunity to dust the running shoes and go jogging regularly. All this trains your stamina.
Typical for easy hiking trails are bumps, puddles, mud or stones in the way and much more. These obstacles must be skillfully overcome – with good coordination. With a well-functioning sense of balance you manage to balance from stone to stone, to circumnavigate puddles or to jump over streams without stumbling. In order to train this ability, you should try to do small balance exercises again and again. For example, you can stand on one leg and close your eyes or rock on your feet.
The last big thing is to train your strength. A trained leg musculature is a great support for every hike. But even a well-trained back helps you to maintain stability and better lift the load of your backpack.
You can train your strength through various exercises with your own body weight. Run a lot of stairs, regularly do several sets of squats and lunges, or try your hand at pull-ups for your back. It can also help you get used to wearing your backpack.
Generally recommended is a healthy and balanced diet to give your body the necessary nutrients during exercise. Pay particular attention to enough proteins for muscle growth. Incidentally, if you want to get rid of a few kilograms of winter time anyway, this is the perfect opportunity: the less body weight you have to carry, the easier the hike will be for you.
But the hike is this weekend!
If you do not have time to improve your fitness then that’s no problem. Walking is primarily fun, so just pick a walking route that suits your current fitness level. The hiking itself is already an ideal fitness training for the whole body anyway.
But even before the hike, it is important to prepare ones body for the coming load. However, not with the exercises that I have already presented to you – you do not want to be exhausted before the hike. While stretching and warming will not protect you against muscle catamarans, you can prevent muscle strain and increase your agility. Run warm and then start stretching your calves, thighs and if you want the back. You are welcome to do this before and after the exercises explained above.
There are many ways to stretch your calves! For example, you can stand on a step, take one foot back so that only the ball of the foot hits the step, and then press the heel down. Hold this position for several seconds and then change leg. It is best to repeat the exercise several times. Alternatively, you can take a big step and stay in the same footing. Stretch your arms up and lean forward. The back foot should remain completely on the ground so that you feel a stretch in the calf. Hold the position for a few seconds and then change the leg. Repeat, again!
Also for your thighs I have selected exercises for you. Lie on your side, stretching your lower arm for stability. Now bring your upper foot to your butt and pull your foot up with your upper hand. Again: Hold, Change, Repeat. You can also do the exercise standing up – then you also train your balance. Alternatively, you can also make a lunge to the front, placing your back knee on the floor. Now you push the front knee forward until you feel a stretch in the thigh. Do not forget to hold, change legs and repeat!
For the stretching of the back muscles lie on your back, stretch your arms sideways and put your legs up at an angle. Now you tilt your legs to the side and turns your head to the other. We probably do not have to explain the rest of the procedure to you!
I hope I could help you with these hiking exercise tips. Maybe you also feel like getting on a hike now! Do you have additional tips for a successful hike? Let us know!