There’s numerous important fitness principles you should consider before your hike to make the most of your time on the trail. Find and stick to the suggestions below to make your adventure a memorable one!
It is better to exercise a small amount regularly, than it is to do big workouts occasionally.
If you’re pushing too hard during a workout, you will feel sore, and for a few days, you would not be able to exercise or train again. It is much better to begin slowly and then progress constantly over the months rather than do all at the beginning and not be able to keep up. If you want to train for a hike, you may start by walking only 20 minutes, every day. Then improve by adding say, 10% a week and you will be ready even before you know it.
Use a Foam Roller
You can use a foam roller, a stick or a massage ball to induce pressure on tight points of your muscles. Light pressure often relieves tension and maximize muscle length, this means faster recovery times and less risk of injury along the way. The common muscles which respond well to the rolling of the foam are the calves, the thighs/hamstring, and the quadriceps. If you find a tight spot while you’re rolling, hold that position for about 30 to 90 seconds. When resting, use a 1-liter water bottle instead of the foam roller.
You have to stretch after each hike.
Sure most people know you should be stretching before you work out, but what about after? When you stretch after a hike, you reduce the chance of an injury, and it can help in preventing muscle imbalance and accelerates the recovery process. On getting back to your car at the trail road, concentrate on your calves, hamstring, quadriceps, and the hip flexors. Keep the stretch for about 30 seconds to get the maximum benefit. You may try adding yoga for a full body stretch once a week.
Watch out for how you warm up before the hike.
In contrast to the static stretch which is described above, dynamic stretches are best for preparing the human body for any activity. Perform some repetitions of double heel lifts, about 10 times, lunges and leg movements just before the hike. The stretch reduces the risk of tension and ankle strain on the trail.
Improving your balance can help prevent injuries.
Maintaining balance is a very important component of fitness programs. Creating a controlled instability at home helps reduce risks of rolling ankles and knee injuries along the way. Try to keep your balance on one leg (close your eyes to make it more difficult).
You must strengthen your core.
Every movement starts from the core, this includes all your hip muscles, the upper legs, and the waist. Having a strong core helps to promote correct postures, improves your breathing and also reduces the risk of having ankle sprains and even knee pain. To improve hiking posture, you should try planks that strengthen the muscles along the spine, and cobras and ball back extensions help develop the strength of the back to carry a heavy pack.