I love going on Treks.. Hiking, trekking, mountain climbing you name it, I love it. I love the adrenaline, the scenic views and the unexpectedness of it, you never know what’s waiting for you at the end of a trail. Every time I plan a trip I make sure to add a trek here and there just to full fill my desire to burn my legs!.
But on a normal day when I’m not traveling I spend a pretty sedentary life. I’m sitting in front of my lap top or I’m sitting on a lab bench sulking the whole entire day!! thus I hardly get any type of exercise, No physical activity, Non what so ever!!. I NEVER go to the gym.. To be more exact I’ve never set foot inside a gym.. for one there are no decent gyms around (Cough* Excuses* Cough) and two even if I go I wouldn’t even know how to switch on a treadmill ( yah that bad!!). So you get the picture, I’m not the fittest person on the planet BUT I can trek decently. The love and passion I have for trekking drives me to do so. (or may be its just the adrenaline !)
I enjoy every second of it.. every step, every bend, every weird looking rock everything !. And I try to at least go on a few treks every year and I do a pretty decent job while on them. But on some hikes there comes a point after which I’m tired beyond my body’s normal capacity and because of this instead of enjoying the hike I turn on this “Beast Mode” where I try to push past the pain and make myself move just so I can finish it. Past that point I don’t get to really enjoy the hike and surroundings until I get to the end. I just tell myself “one step at a time!” and I end up just looking at the ground the entire way. It’s a bummer!! because to enjoy a Hike a) you need to look up from the trail b) need to stop panting like a happy dog! (Minus the happiness)
Since I’m prepping to go on a trek this year that I’ve always wanted to go, I thought of doing some research to find ways to get myself in to hike ready shape. My goal is not necessarily to lose weight but to try to make my legs strong and breathing capacity higher and increase my resistance. (if loosing weight comes as a bonus then meh I’m not complaining! )
So these are a few tips I found on the internet on how to get yourself hike ready,
The word I dread the most! But it’s important if you want to be able to hike like a boss!! Professionals say that it’s best to find a work out routine that suites you and that mimic the activity that you are planning to do. Do aerobic exercises like swimming, jogging, running etc. and if you are a gym kindda person engage in activities such as weighted squats, treadmill with incline mode, stair stepper or use the climbing machine. Just try to mimic the activity you aim to do as much as possible. Example- if it’s a mountain terrain you’re planning to conquer, jogging, running or the use of stair stepper can help you get that hike ready legs you need.
Hike = Walking
Get ready to walk a lot, by walking a lot. Make it a daily habit to walk a few miles so that your body gets used to the activity. Try to find a few challenging terrains that you can practice in, so that it will feel more close to what is to be expected than just running on a road.
Train with your backpack
Your backpack is going to be your best friend on the hike. – It’s going to have all the goodies in it and its going to weigh at least a few Kg. That weight is going to add up to your total weight and if you train without it you’re a few Kg short when practicing. Fill up your backpack to an approximate weight that you think your backpack will be and train while you are wearing it so that your body will get used to the weight.
Hydrate and Eat healthy
It’s important to keep your body healthy and hydrated both during the trek and also the training period. Make sure you drink as much water as needed and eat food filled with all the nutrients and energy that you need.
Get them shoes right!
What’s the most important thing for trekking you ask? Shoes!! Without those “good good” shoes you ain’t going anywhere! Find a pair of good hiking boots and socks to match. Try to find boots that are water resistant because you never know when there will be a splash. Also make sure the shoes have a good grip and is light weight.
Use your hiking boots
Make sure you use your boot before the big day so that it won’t cause any cuts or bruises while on the track. Let your shoes season to your feet. Let them bond!!
Other than that make sure you find the right hiking gear you need and learn about the trail you’re planning to go on, to get mentally prepared. Rest, just enjoy your trek and bring back buckets full of memories!!
Hope this post helps you nonprofessionals out there to enjoy your next trek a little bit more. And if there are any other tips that might help please feel free to comment below, it might help a fellow hiker !
Happy trekking and safe travels,