How to Train for Hiking

Some simple statying fit tips for hiking

For those of us who have experienced hiking, the sense of achievement and the journey itself is something that we’ll never forget. Often the best way to see a new country is to hike to special places that are normally inaccessible. This is where we can get the best views, be in touch with nature and feel the most exhilarated; hiking is inspiring and good for our minds and bodies.

Before going for even a short hike, it’s important to do some fitness training and be properly prepared. Knowing the climate and altitude of where your going is a great start. Most people will start training before going for walks and treks in the months and weeks before their trip. A good tip is to start wearing a backpack each time, to get used to weight you’ll be carrying. Selecting a decent backpack is a big advantage here, and you should find one that has properly supported straps and belts. Choosing lightweight shoes which are waterproof and have good grip, non sweat shirts and properly designed hiking gear will give you confidence and a headstart. After each ‘practice hike’ it’s important to recuperate and stretch; yoga will help hugely in this respect.

If it’s difficult to find the time for warm up hikes, gym work is also a good way to train your body. Many elliptical machines have uphill settings, and running, cycling and weights can also help you build strength. Hikes very rarely take place on flat ground, so our body needs to develop muscles and build stamina. Fatigue is primary consideration for inexperienced hikers and without regular exercise we may find ourselves tiring very quickly. Repetitions and exercises for our legs and cardiovascular work is especially important.

Finally, take into consideration eating a healthy diet and bringing the right food for your trip. Food is fuel for hiking and organic fruit and vegetables will give the best nutrients off or on the trail. Traditionally, nuts and berries are used to sustain energy and shouldn’t be forgotten on any outdoor adventure! Good hydration is also essential as we consume much more water than normal. As a rough calculation, our bodies will require 1- 1.3 litres of water per hour whilst hiking.

It’s important not to underestimate your training for hiking, but remember that work put in beforehand will make your adventure easier and more enjoyable. By starting with small regular treks, keeping on top of a healthy diet, strengthening our muscles and preparing the correct equipment and food we can be ready for our next hike!

Thailand is a leading destination for hiking in the Asia region, for more information see Trekking in Chiang Mai. Or check out another Article on Packing Tips.