How to Increase Your Stamina for Your Next Hike?

Studies have shown frequently that the best way to improve the quality of your life is to get active. Exercise – including hiking – makes up for an excellent way to supply your body with a cocktail of good hormones such as endorphins. Better still, going for extra-long walks on outdoor trails improves the serotonin and dopamine levels in the blood.

Hiking, or just taking a nature walk in the woods, has many benefits. Not only is it a fun experience, but it’s also exceptionally calming. Aside from giving you the chance to engage with Mother Nature, hiking takes you to a whole new world of unique experiences.

Whether you are a beginner or intermediate hiker, trekking requires optimal endurance and stamina to ensure the best results. Below is a comprehensive guide to help you develop endurance for hiking.

How to Build Hiking Endurance?

For any hiking enthusiast, success is when opportunity and preparation come together. It’s a saying that you can apply to any venture in life. Being a hiker is a great learning experience, apart from giving you a good body workout. Even if long hikes sound excellent for the soul and body, you still need some preparation before you take on long hikes.

Even if you are fully confident on taking some of the longest hikes, its best to ensure your body is good shape. Getting your body in shape means that you never lag and that you can reach those tasty fruits that grow up on the trees with ease.

You already know that physical activity has various unique benefits for your body. To build optimal endurance to enjoy long hikes, you have to implement a multi-faceted approach.

Walking and Running to Build Hiking Stamina

During the week, you can start with short walks and runs. Walking and running and simple yet effective techniques for enhancing your endurance. If you have a tight work schedule, ensure you make up some time each week to get active. The best times for such a person would be to work out early in the morning or late in the evening.

Start by taking short walks. A few minutes’ walk each day is crucial. It helps to build your short twitch muscles, which are essential for walking long distances. Remember to set goals with your walking schedule. The best approach would be to keep track of the miles you walk each day. Increase the amount gradually, as you adjust to the hiking experience.

When running, start with simple jogs, and then move up to short tuns. Consider going for two to three runs every week. While the runs don’t have to be sprints, try to push your body to adjust to an increased physical activity workload. After every 15-minute walk, you can run for 5 minutes and then repeat the same three times. Remember to alternate your runs with jogs for the best results.

Running helps to develop the fast-twitch muscles in your legs, which can be beneficial when you have to run away from a beehive.

Cardio Workouts to Build Hiking Endurance.

The range of cardiovascular workouts is broad and diverse. Activities such as rowing, swimming, and cycling are all beneficial. Cycling is excellent because it works all every section of the lower body. More so, it also challenges your cardiovascular system to pump oxygen, thus improving your blood pressure levels.

Swimming is also excellent, and it also helps to work your body. For the best results, you have to learn how to swim appropriately. Consider trying out different swimming strokes, which work for your body.

While rowing is a low impact activity, it has many benefits for the upper body section. Furthermore, it also helps improve your cardiovascular endurance, especially when you have to row for long distances.

Weight Training to Build Hiking Stamina and Endurance.

Building strength is vital. Aside from developing your cardiovascular fitness, you also want to improve your overall body strength. Body strength is essential, especially when you have to get through creeks, or perhaps climb up steep slopes. Usually, you have everything in your bag, and moving around with such as haul can be back-breaking work.

Thus, you need to develop optimal muscle strength for the best results. The typical weight training exercises to consider include squats, pushups, kettlebells, deadlifts, and more. Also, consider running or walking around for long distances with weights in your backpack. This helps accustom your body to moving around with everything you need for long distances.

When performing weight training, you can start with weight lifting, then move on to movements that help you achieve optimal strength. Perform this activity twice a week. Squats and deadlifts, for example, are suitable for improving the strength of your hamstrings, quads, back, and glutes.

Engage in Breathing Techniques

Breathing techniques are as important as cardio workouts and weight training activities. They can be beneficial when climbing up in elevated areas. Take some time every day to practice your breathing techniques.

In this YouTube video, you will learn some excellent techniques on deep breathing. Usually, you want to take in deep breaths, with the goal of pushing as much oxygen in the lungs as possible.

More so, techniques such as meditation and yoga can be beneficial for your overall physical wellbeing. Yoga improves your cardiovascular fitness, while meditation will improve your focus level when moving outdoors.

Eat Well

Yes, that`s right. Consuming a proper diet is crucial for your ability to trek long distances. It’s one of the key factors behind the exceptional performance of most professional athletes today. You need a diet with all the proper nutrients, including carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, and more. A proper diet ensures various aspects of the body perform at top-notch levels. These include body systems such as cardiovascular systems, respiratory, foot metabolism, mental focus, muscle strength, and more. In essence, your diet should consist of everything from leafy greens, white meat, fruits, and more.

Improve the Frequency of Your Training

Once you perform the above exercises, you should improve your frequency. You cannot become a pro hiker, just by performing a few walks, jogs, deadlifts or squats. By enhancing your frequency, you can enhance your endurance when hiking.

Furthermore, your physical activities should have a combination of endurance, strength, and cross-training activities. Remember that workouts don’t have to last for many hours. Short physical activities are perfect if you are performing intensive exercises.

It’s great to increase the length of hiking every time you go outdoors. Increasing your work rate gradually over time will improve your endurance significantly. Hiking is the only activity that helps improve your ability to walk long distances through trails. You will come across several endurance training programs, which you can customize to suit your needs.

An endurance training program might involve various physical activity techniques. These might include press-ups, squats, swimming, rope skipping, weight lifting, and more.

Develop Optimal Mental Toughness

Aside from honing your physical abilities, you also have to work on your mental state. Mental strength is crucial in developing stamina, especially for hikers. Take good care of your mental health, and you will improve your performance significantly. The common mental health techniques include:

  • Consider doing yoga, meditation, and any useful wellness technique
  • Wake up in the morning to workout and perform exercises
  • Set progressive goals for any form of mental health activity you perform
  • Avoid consuming products such as fasts foods

Factors to Consider for Building Hiking Stamina

  • Try to go for short hikes during the week. You can go for the hikes on average 3-4 times a week. The short hikes allow the body to adjust to new terrains while improving muscle performance.
  • Go for long hikes during weekends. During the weekends, you are more likely to have some free time. Thus, just a single long hike during the weekend can help improve your fitness and prepare you for tough hikes. When engaging in long hikes, consider taking short breaks.
  • Stay active at all times. Regardless of whether it’s on or off-season, ensure that you stay active and keeping exercising. Keep your body active, and you will reduce the amount of work required to get your body back in shape.
  • Set goals and targets for your workout regimen. When you set goals, ensure that you also identify a solution for holding yourself accountable for failures.
  • Get good hiking shoes. The quality of your gear also determines whether you can go long walks without issues such as aches.

Conclusion

Continuous practice is key to improving your stamina as a hiker. Whether you are a novice or professional, enhancing your endurance will improve your ability to hike long distances. Activities such as jogging, running, cardio, and breathing techniques are all useful for improving stamina. The best way to keep the body in top condition is to always be in motion – avoid laziness. Get active and improve the performance of body organs, including muscles.

More so, eating well is crucial because it improves the supply of nutrients to the muscles, bones, and various other aspects of the body.

Sarah Shawman

is the webmistress of Footwear 4 Workers.

She started this website out of displeasure with the fact that there are so few good online resources especially dedicated to the 99%: working people. Having suffered from work related plantar fasciitis herself, she set out on a mission to help others.

She updated this page on and will continue to update it as time goes on.

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