If you've set your sights on a challenging trek or an epic backpacking trip, it's a good idea to train your body in the weeks and months building up to it. Instead of worrying about being uncomfortable and weary, you can genuinely enjoy the event when you're in top form. Training may also be a lot of fun, and it can be done at home at no cost.
You may believe you don't need to condition your vacation if you're currently active and in fantastic shape. But be honest with yourself: when was the last time you strapped on a rucksack and spent hours upon hours slogging up flights of stairs? Hiking and backpacking are endurance activities that require more than just walking. The more you train, the more confident you'll be on the big day. When you aren't walking or performing cardio, practice the following strength training activities two or three times each week. Before you begin to safeguard your joints, stretch and warm-up for a few minutes.
Acknowledge the following tips while training for hiking-
Do squats if you have time for one workout. They're great for strengthening your glutes and legs, which are put to a lot of work while hiking. Position yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and sit back as if sitting in a low chair behind you, keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Maintain an open and upright chest. Then, tightening your glutes as you stand back up, drive your weight into your heels—extra credit: Add resistance to your squats by holding a weight in your hands.
Lunges will help you build your quadriceps, which are the biggest muscles in your legs, so you'll be ready to race up those steep uphill parts of the path. Begin by standing with your feet together to perform this exercise. Lunge forward with a forward step with your right foot. Then, using your right foot, take a step backwards to meet your left.
Next, lunge to the side with your right foot stepping to the right. Bring your right foot back to the point where it meets your left. Then lunge back with your right foot stepping back behind you. Bring your right foot in front of your left to complete it. Rep on the other side. That counts as one rep. Hold a weight or a water bottle in each hand if you want to boost your game.
Mountain climbers provide a quick burst of cardio to help you prepare your lungs and heart for backpacking. They also strengthen your core, which helps maintain your weight and give stability on uneven terrain. Start with your hands just under your shoulders on the floor, and your legs stretched behind you in a high plank posture. Maintain a straight line with your body and raise your right knee to reach your chest or outside right elbow (try both). Return your foot to plank position after a brief pause. Rep with your left knee, keeping everything tight with your core. Alternate sides as quickly as you can while maintaining control.
The step-up exercise increases the strength and endurance of your glutes and quadriceps muscles, allowing you to step up and over any number of felled logs or obstacles in your path. To step up onto, you'll need a solid surface that's about 8 inches from the ground. A flight of stairs' bottom step works nicely. Begin by placing your left foot on the floor and your right foot on the step (your right knee will be bent).
Step up until you're standing on top of the step with your right leg nearly straight and balanced. With your left foot a few inches over the step, pause in a balanced stance. Then take a step down, bringing your left leg and right foot back to where you started. Do all of your repetitions on one side, then switch sides and continue the workout. Extra credit: add to the difficulty by wearing a backpack with some weight or raising the step height.
Calf raises, and heel dips will chisel your calves and strengthen your ankles and feet, making you less weary and more stable on uneven terrain. This workout will need a steady step. A flight of stairs' bottom step works nicely. Begin by placing both feet on the top of the step, with your weight on your toes/balls of your feet and your heels dangling over the edge. Start by standing on your toes, squeezing your calves, and pausing at the top. Then, with your heels dipped below the step's edge, lower them. Return to a neutral posture before repeating.
Hiking and backpacking may be psychologically and physically demanding. Not only will training help you tone your body, but it will also aid in the development of mental stamina. Your head is crucial to prepare for a walk or any other significant effort. The more you practise, the more comfortable you'll feel in your skin and your talents. You'll know what it feels like to achieve an essential goal after the first time, and you'll be sure that you can do it again. You'll probably discover that you're a lot tougher than you ever anticipated and that you can breathe instead of giving up when things become challenging.
Listen to music to get fired up or push a bit less if you need to if you're having a terrible day and dragging. The most challenging aspect is getting started. Perseverance, grit, and a positive attitude are required for the most challenging and rewarding walks. Being present and grateful for the beauty in your surroundings will go a long way.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS), often known as altitude sickness, is similar to a hangover. Some people are more impacted than others, which may be an unpleasant experience for them. There are, fortunately, safeguards you may do to avoid it. That said, it's critical to understand the signs and symptoms of AMS so you can prevent it from becoming a significant problem (see HACE and HAPE below).
Headache, lack of appetite, and difficulty sleeping are the early signs of altitude sickness. If the symptoms do not improve within a day or become more severe, you should consider resting. Vomiting, dizziness, disorientation or spiciness, inability to walk, and blue lips or fingernails are more significant symptoms.
After you've had some time to exercise and have a better sense of what your body can do, be honest with yourself about your fitness level and how much time you have left before your trip to make additional improvements. Re-evaluate your travel plans and make adjustments based on realistic expectations. You'll still have time to revise your goals if you find you've misjudged your talents. If you're not trying for a speed record, being conservative with your predictions will likely result in a faster time.