How to Get Into Shape for Hiking

**parts of this post is sponsored**

I love taking walks, especially in the fall. The beauty never ceases to amaze me. And what better time to spend outdoors than this season? Plan a day of hiking!

selfie pumpkin fall

Hiking is great for a lot of things. It’s a good excuse to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air, it helps you reconnect with nature and take in some astonishing views, and of course it’s an excellent way of getting more exercise. For first timers, though, it can seem difficult and even intimidating.

As with any other kind of advanced exercise, preparation is key. Before hiking long distances, steep slopes, or uneven terrain, it’s important to get into the right shape for it. Below, we’ve included some helpful tips that will help you condition yourself to conquer that rocky slice of Halton real estate you’ve been eyeing safely.

Exercise at Home

It’s no secret that when getting into shape for any activity, it’s best to start with small, simple exercises that you can do at home. For hiking, you want to focus specifically on exercises that help you improve your cardio and respiratory health, strengthen your joints and muscles, and fine-tune your balance and agility.

Always start with some thorough stretching first, then alternate different exercises on different days. Jogging will help your breathing and heart rate. Push-ups and crunches will help your upper body strength and back. And stationary lunges and step-ups will help your flexibility and stability.

Hit the Gym

Once you’ve gotten into a good workout groove, it’s time to take things to the next level. If you really want to be in ideal hiking condition, it’s time to hit the gym. With the right equipment, you’ll find it much easier to prepare yourself for the rigors of hiking. For instance, a few sessions on the treadmill aren’t just good for cutting calories and improving cardio, they can also help train your body to walk long distances with a steady mechanical rhythm.

After doing this for a while, it’s a good idea to fill a backpack with weights or other heavy items and wear that during each session, just like you would when hiking for real. This is a good way of gauging how difficult a hike you’re ready for. Other gym equipment that may be useful include stair-steppers, stationary bicycles, elliptical, and resistance bands.

Take a Swim

(and this is coming from a non-swimmer!)

One of the most important body parts you need to pay attention to while preparing for a hike are your joints, especially your hips, knees, and ankles. If at any point during your workout routine any of these feel not simply tired and sore but genuinely pained, stop immediately and give your body time to rest. Working hard is not the same as working smart. Damaging your joints will not only be a blow to your hiking plans, but a blow to your life as a whole.

A good way of strengthening your joints without putting too much pressure on them is to exercise in the pool. Swimming works just as much as your body as a more high-impact exercise session but with less intense strain. It can also be beneficial to building lung strength, something not to be overlooked when preparing for a long walk uphill.

Here are 9 other activities you should absolutely not miss out on this Fall!

What’s your favourite fall activity? What’s your favourite season?