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Planning to Hike? 5 Tips to Get in Shape for Hiking

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We all need a break from the trials and tribulations of our busy lives. What could be a better idea to do so, than a re-energising hiking trip? Hiking provides us with an outlet to express our sense of inquisitiveness. Hiking is more than just an activity; it is a way of life. It is a test of character, cognitive ability, and physical strength. However, it also has its challenges that range from navigating different types of difficult terrain to muscle fatigue caused by hiking for a long period of time. For an untrained body, hiking can be really exhausting. Read on about how to get in shape for hiking.

Fitness Issues: Well, Get in Shape for Hiking

This is the reason why a good workout schedule is necessary to get your body in shape. So, if you are planning to go a hiking expedition, start following the tips mentioned below and get fit before you begin the trek.

Go for Cardio Workouts

How to Get in Shape for Hiking - Livingit
Cardio workout is essential

Pump up your heart with exercises like running, cycling, swimming, squats, lunges, step-ups or even climbing the stairs. Working the muscles in the lower body helps to strengthen the legs, which is essential for hiking. Do this for 30 to 60 minutes at moderate intensity, for five days a week.

Toughen Your Body

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Strength Training will increase your stamina

Hiking in hilly areas may require a lot of upper body strength as well. A good way to start would be to do basic shoulder and back exercises like push-ups, crunches or even weight-lifting, for two to three days per week. You require proper training to increase your stamina and strength. Building muscle endurance and strength of the legs is predominant while you get in shape for hiking.

Learn to Breathe

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Correct breathing technique will benefit you ( Image Source )

During any physical activity, it is important for the muscles to get enough oxygen to avoid muscle cramps, fatigue or dizziness. Practicing breathing techniques helps especially when hiking at higher altitudes and can prevent a harmful situation. To get in shape for hiking, one should practice correct breathing. In other words, it is recommended that your breathing pattern should synchronize with your steps. As you move forward with your right foot, you should inhale deeply and continue to take a step with your left foot. You should exhale while you take another step with your right foot.

Put on Your Jogging Shoes

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Walking or jogging – whatever you are comfortable with!

To get in shape for hiking, you’ll have to make jogging your new best friend. If you feel, that jogging is something you can’t, then stick to walking. Make walking and jogging a part of your daily routine. Go for a 5-6 km walk or jog regularly and if possible, try to finish off 1.5 km within 20 mins. Walk on non-uniform terrains with loaded backpacks to help you practice for the hike.

Quit Smoking

How to Get in Shape for Hiking - Livingit
Smoking and Fitness are like oil and water; they just don’t mix

Smoking and fitness don’t go hand in hand. When you are hiking, you would want your lungs to be performing at their 100%. You will need a lot of oxygen if you want to hike for long distances. If you are looking forward to a wonderful hiking experience and planning to get in shape for hiking it is better to quit your smoking habit. Researchers have provided strong negative feedback and evidence that smoking affects physical fitness.

Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

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Healthy eating habits makes you stronger

Improve your eating habits as you train for the hike. Eat fresh food in proper quantities and uniform time intervals. Avoid food with higher levels of fat and go for the ones which have higher amounts of calcium, protein, and vitamins. Also, make sure that you drink a lot of water at regular intervals, to keep yourself hydrated.

Follow the above-mentioned tips to gear up your body and to get in shape for hiking. Not to mention that the preparation itself is bound to keep your spirits high.

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