Keeping fit is imperative for any savvy individual. Keeping fit has many benefits. It helps promote optimal cardiovascular health, encourages body functions, promotes well-being and more. As a hiker, you might think that simply taking a walk outdoors is sufficient physical work. However, your body might require more than you think. You have to maintain a basic fitness exercise approach at least, to ensure your body operates at optimal levels. While hiking often involves various types of physical activity, you also need to engage in a proper workout to keep the body in shape.
1. Carry Only What You Need
Depending on the nature of hiking activities, you only have to carry important items. Carrying unnecessary items can prove to be a challenging load to bring around. This is especially true since hiking often involves lots of movement around a specific location. Therefore, keep track of the items that you need for the hiking adventure. A good recommendation would be for you to develop a basic list that you can use for the process. More so, check the overall weight of your items before leaving camp. This way, you don’t get halfway through the trail only to realize the weight of items is unbearable.
2. Invest in the Correct Hiking Gear
There are various types of outdoor gear that are suitable for hiking activities. Some of this gear includes shoes, boots, bags, tents, trousers, shirts and more. As such, you have to invest in the appropriate gear if you want to enjoy the ideal outdoor experiences. Choosing the proper equipment for your outdoor needs means that you to consider various important factors. Some of these critical factors include the level of activity, the nature of your outdoor experiences and more. Besides that, different another factor such as your unique preferences also come into play when investing in the correct gear for hiking purposes.
3. Inform your Mates about Your Schedule
Hiking is a time to let loose and unwind from your day to day routine. While this is true, you also have to inform your close pals about your destination and activities. This is especially true if you plan to take on the hiking activities for several days. A good recommendation is to leave them the address of the trail, and the number of days you expect to spend outdoors. Providing this type of information is considered as a good form of hiking practices.
Exercises for Hiking
Keeping fit when you are outdoors is simple, especially when you can perform the proper exercises. The top exercises to consider include:
1. Weighted Glute Bridge on a Bench
This type of exercise helps to improve the strength of the butt and the legs. These are the two muscles that support you to move across terrains with ease. You can use a barbell or any type of heavy object and hold it at a specific position above the legs. Ensure that the feet stay flat on the floor, and squeeze your butt at the height of the exercise movement. You have to hold this position for a while before you lower the buttocks. Ensure that you use a reasonably weighted object, and focus on explosive movements. Then, stop when in the middle for a squeeze and then release. Repeat the process for ten reps.
2. Goblet Squat
The goblet squat is perhaps one of the most useful exercises for any outdoor enthusiasts. It helps to improve the strength of the muscles in the legs, the glutes, and the buttocks. Take a dumbbell and place it between the arms and squat. Ensure that you squat slowly, while you maintain the level of thighs on the floor, without bouncing the feet. You can lift and squeeze the glutes in combination, while you keep your head straight for maximum effect.
Running is perhaps one of the most common physical activities. It is beneficial for a hiker because it helps to improve cardiovascular fitness and the performance of the legs. The ideal running session should take between 15 to 30 minutes. You can switch the running intensity by perhaps running faster, or running on slopy locations. Furthermore, you can also improve your running training by carrying heavy objects such as bags. These help to strength train your back, as you prepare for the hiking loads you will carry outdoors.
4. Weighted Step Up
This refers to a basic step-up technique that involves the use of heavy objects such as dumbells. The activity is beneficial because it helps the legs get accustomed to pushing or climbing in sloppy terrains. In particular, it involves holding dumbells in either section of the hands. You may have to place one foot on a raised platform such as a bench. This way, the thigh sits parallel to the ground. Next, push the heel to the step on the bench. Then, lower it gradually to the initial position — complete ten reps for this process.
5. Bulgarian Split Squat
This technique is useful because it accustoms the body to making long strides. The exercise promotes strength, flexibility, and stamina. Typically, the exercise stretches the hip flexors, glutes and the things as well. The dynamic exercise improves balance, especially if you will carry large loads. Hold a heavy object such as dumbbells on either hand and perform lunges on a raised platform. Next, rest one foot on the raised platform, while ensuring the hips take on a square shape. Then, lower the feet until it gets into contact with the ground, and the front hamstring sits parallel to the ground.
Being an informed hiker or outdoor enthusiasts is indeed an important venture. It allows you to make the most of your hiking activities each time. For a hiker, having the appropriate gear is crucial towards the quality of your outdoor experiences. The proper outdoor equipment includes boots, bags, clothes and more. More so, keeping fit is essential if you want to spend several days on the trail. More so, training is also important in improving your endurance when exploring different types of terrains and covering long distances.