Even though it looks fun and easy, hiking requires a lot of strength and good shape in order to be done correctly. After all, when was the last time you walked uphill without losing your breath?
Hiking means going over difficult terrain without stopping every few minutes to catch your breath and puts a lot more strain on your muscles than a standard 1-hour round at the gym. Furthermore, in case of an emergency or bad weather, you must be able to move fast on hilly terrain, and you won’t be able to do so with cramps and shortness of breath.
So, before you start an adventure on the best hiking trail of your life, make sure to prepare both mentally and physically for what’s about to come. Below we listed five activities that are not standard training but can be quite interesting and fun (they’ll also get you in shape!).
Regardless of the length of your hike, you still need to carry water and some protective equipment. This means you will carry more than your body weight, which is why you should consider adding a weighted bag on your jogging routine.
It also helps if you run on uneven terrain or in the sand (it strengthens the muscles and protects the joints).
Tennis is good for both cardio and working your leg muscles. The fact that you have to run up and down across the field to catch the ball is a fantastic cardio exercise that keeps the heart pounding and increases your lungs’ capacity. Also, the sudden stops or changes of direction keep the muscles tense and strengthens the ligaments, which will be extremely helpful when going uphill.
Furthermore tennis is a game that releases stress and helps you socialize, which can be considered added benefits.
It may be surprising, but besides being a cool game of military strategy, airsoft is also an impressive exercise routine! The running, the crouching and crawling, and the fact that you are always looking for danger makes you stay alert for long periods of time.
Not to mention, if you use to play outdoors, the uneven terrain is perfect for training for a hike! Now, the level of physical activity is different depending on the role you play, but if you have a cool shotgun (you can learn more about it in this article) and love close quarter combat, you will build both physical fitness and resistance!
Cycling is tons of fun, but if you train to improve your hiking fitness, you have to kick it up a notch. Ride your bike uphill for as much as you can and always try to overcome your limits. As long as the heart is pounding hard, you build cardio resistance, which means you won’t lose your breath going uphill anymore.
This is a fun exercise as it can be done with friends or alone and all you need is a park bench! Of course, we also recommend getting a weighted bag (increase the weight gradually so you don’t hurt yourself) to get used to the idea of a backpack.
The secret is to do the exercise as fast as you can – it builds core and leg strength and teaches your knees about climbing a steep slope.