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Hiking Physical Fitness Training - Exercises for Hiking

Your local park as Hiking training grounds You will need to build up your physical abilities to progress in Hiking. If you have never really hiked before then prepare your body for the challenges that lie ahead and start out slowly. If you are a great swimmer and you think that you are in great condition and could easily hike for hours on end, you can be wrong. Hiking up- and hiking downhill on varying terrains and conditions are pretty specific fitness exercises that strain your body in ways that it may not be used to. Even if you are used to walking, strapping a 30-pound backpack will suddenly change your entire experience.

The key to training yourself lies in slow but steady progress. There is no fun in draining yourself to the point of collapse. Remember that we are walking for our enjoyment so it is alright to push your boundaries but do not go too far. Make sure to set obtainable and measurable goals. Here are some suggested schedules when you're training for hiking:
  • Start off by making small 2-4 km (1-3 miles) hikes on regular intervals (1-2 times per week) under not too challenging conditions
    and without a backpack. Do it near your own home so you can make sure that you are able to be back before sunset.

  • Steadily increase the length of your hikes until you are able to comfortably make a 15km (9 miles) hike.

  • On your 15km hikes, you will most likely already be carrying a small day pack with some snacks and drinks.. Now work on increasing the weight of your load by adding more equipment or food/drinks.

  • Steadily increase the weight of your expedition pack until you are able to comfortably finish a 15km hike with 10kg (22lb.) backpack.

  • At this stage, you are set to go on basic day hikes and you can train yourself in more challenging terrains and greater vertical gains.

  • From this point on, you should steadily increase your distance and the weight and size of your pack. With the proper training, you should be able to carry up to 25-30% of your body weight as Backpack Load.

  • There is a big difference between hiking on flat terrain and having to deal with uphill- and downhill walking. Steadily increase the number of vertical meters you gain on your day hikes.

  • Walking for consecutive days is very different from single day hikes with periods of rest between them. Consecutive hikes bring the added challenges of possible blisters, muscle aches and skin irritation. Train yourself by increasing the number of consecutive Hiking days.

This training routine should increase your overall fitness level and will get your body adjusted for Hiking. Before a big Hiking trip, it is always good to increase your physical fitness training intensity which is something we will look at in the next section about Pre-Hike Training.

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Article Comments
weight workout
Tuesday 10th March 2009 at 9:00:54 PM  

Adjust your exercise to a Weight Lifting for Beginners
For beginners there is a great method in which they can keep up with how much weight and exercise they are supposed to do, and it is specially important that these people learn about using a weight lifting chart, and if you are about to get into these kind of exercises, then you should give a look to a weight lifting chart, it is an easy and organized way in which you can arrange your exercising schedule and get the best results from each and every one of your work outs.

Weight Training
Monday 5th October 2009 at 4:57:04 AM  

Hello everyone i am completely new to this forum.
Interested in learning many new things. Hope we all will share our
knowledge and talk about different concepts in this forum.

Thanks for post. Itís really imformative stuff.
I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!

Odette Wright
Sunday 1st November 2009 at 11:07:44 AM  

I am training for a strenous hiking trip starting shortly so I''ve been increasing the length and intensity of my hikes. I have noticed lately that the soles of my feet burn and hurt after a short while. I have good boots and socks. I''m wondering whether a pedicure to remove calluses would be a good idea before my trip or whether it would make things worse by softening my feet. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

Exercise Goals
Sunday 11th April 2010 at 5:16:27 AM  

I weight train all round the year. well... almost. But I am into new ways of training like keyylebells and clubbells. Hiking, swimming are new to me especially as a training tool to get away from gym. Will try them out.


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