how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Share your tips for safe hiking, surviving in the wild and managing hiking injuries!
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corwees
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how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by corwees » October 30th, 2016, 6:05 pm

Last month I had a very nice time hiking the Liahona Loop trail. My first real hike ever! I can admit my main motivation to start hiking is to promote weight loss and burn calories. It has at once destined to become one of my favorite activities. The whole trail is well marked and nothing better than hiking on a clear sunny day, being overwhelmed by the immense beauty of nature. I was able to get some nice vistas regardless of wherever I stopped along the way.

It’s been quite tough for me to complete the loop even though my trekking poles helped a lot on latter half of the trail. It actually should be filtered by easy and didn’t really need gear like poles, just got them from Timberbrother on Amazon because of affordable price and thought they might save my knees. They are absolute strong, lightweight and certainly took some of the load off my knees, but despite all of these I was still pretty sore and tired in half way mainly caused by my weight and other physically problems.

I really want to be in a better physical condition next time, how should I physically workout for next hike?

bushwhacker
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by bushwhacker » October 30th, 2016, 6:51 pm

I get out and 'hike' the neighborhood when I am not hiking the trails. And I rarely miss a day. The secret is to be consistent. If you only get out on the weekends and hike the trails and don't do much during the week it will be tough to get into shape. I may vary the neighborhood distance and route but rain or shine or dark (don't do ice) I get out there and walk.

You mention the trekking poles which is good. Foot ware is another place to check. Lighter is better. And lighter with cushioning is even better both for hiking and walking the neighborhood.

Best of luck in your effort.

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texasbb
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by texasbb » October 30th, 2016, 7:22 pm

Ditto. Use whatever you've got. If there's a trail near home with a little elevation to it, hike it at least 3x/week if you can. I've got a small "mountain" near my home that lets me do 800 ft gain. When I have time I do an over-n-back to get a good 1600 feet in, but most of the time I don't have time...so I put myself on the clock. With a stopwatch running, I find myself motivated to get to the top at least as quickly as last time. Excellent way to work on wind and leg strength (I carry some weight on my back) in limited time.

If you're stuck with nothing but a gym, I suppose the stair stepper would be good?

As for the trekking poles, keep using them. They make things easier on muscles and especially joints, while actually increasing your calorie burn.

I find the prospect of more comfortable, enjoyable hikes next summer a fantastic motivation to keep working out over the winter.

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Peder
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by Peder » October 31st, 2016, 1:48 am

Welcome!

I would say take it easy! Don't try to go too far or have too much elevation gain. It sounds like you will initially have a lot more pleasure on flat trails, so aim for those. That will also spare wear and tear on your knees and if you are enjoying yourself, so are far more likely to keep hiking.

So take care of yourself and savor the outdoors!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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jdemott
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by jdemott » October 31st, 2016, 7:30 am

Welcome to the world of hiking! A regular routine of walking is a great way to stay in shape. I've been walking before breakfast every day for several decades. Not only does it help promote fitness, it is just a great way to start the day.

A basic in-home exercise routine can help build the muscles that you use for walking. I think there is a list of hiking related exercises on the REI website and you can find other recommendations with a Google search. You can do some basic exercises like squats and lunges without any equipment. Building muscle will let you hike more easily without tiring and you'll find it easier to gradually increase the distance of your hikes.

Just take it easy and build up a little bit at a time. Having goals is all well and good, but you want to enjoy the process also. If you establish a routine you enjoy you'll be able to stick to it, and you'll be hiking farther soon enough.

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Charley
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by Charley » November 1st, 2016, 12:37 pm

Ditto! I walk around my neighborhood once or twice a week, at times when riding the bike in the dark or in the rain seems like idiocy, and when I don't have time to drive out of town to a trailhead. I've been incorporating the walks into the routines of managing my urban homestead: for example walking twenty minutes to the farm store to get cover crop seed or walking thirty minutes to the hardware store to buy tools. I find that incorporating light exercise into my chores allows me time to see my neighborhood, get healthy exercise, and be a responsible member of my family.

Start easy: a 30 minute walk 3x per week is a great start, and one that many health care professionals recommend.

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retired jerry
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by retired jerry » November 1st, 2016, 1:14 pm

come over to my yard and rake leaves, then carry to compost pile (to give the rats a shelter) :)

OutdoorOregonHiker
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by OutdoorOregonHiker » September 19th, 2017, 8:10 am

I try to do an alternating treadmill and stair climber work out. I will do intervals on the treadmill for about 10 minutes a piece. The first interval is usually a 10 degree incline with normal hiking speed. then I will bump it all the way up to the highest incline and bump the speed up. I will do this for about 30-40 minutes. I will then hop on the stair climber for about 10 minutes too. Just to get used to hiking more uphill like that. Hope this helps.

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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by abbykingsley26 » July 25th, 2018, 5:52 am

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retired jerry
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Re: how to be in a better physical condition for hiking?

Post by retired jerry » July 25th, 2018, 6:11 am

I had minor hip and knee problem. The Physical Therapist recommended stationery bike over treadmill because there's less shock.

Even though I hike a lot and do a lot of yard work and stuff, it seems like my legs are getting weaker with time. Stationery bike seems to help this. I have better balance too. About 25% of days I do bike, 25% hiking, 25% vigorous yard work, 25% idle.

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