Many hikers simply love the outdoors and enjoy exploring everything, the natural world has to offer. Hikes on flat ground are relatively easy but alas, hikes may also have gradients which may test the endurance of the most physically fit.
Many hikers have a love/hate relationship with walking uphill. It takes extra physical exertion, that gets you huffing, sweating and involves a full body cardio workout.
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How to get better at hiking?
If you are an aspirational hiker, start slowly. Try a few low intensity hikes first, to get your body and muscles familiar with physical activity.
How to get better at hiking uphill?
However, if you are already an avid hiker and aspire to go on longer and loftier quests the below tips for hiking will most definitely prepare you to achieve your goal. The exercises to improve hiking is designed to target muscles, that will drive you up the trail mile after mile.
Here is an overview of the exercises to prepare for hiking -
- Strength training for hiking - Increase strength in major muscles that hikers rely upon. Stronger legs and core muscles will better support the load in your backpack and help you hike harder, longer. Squats, Jump Squats, Burpees, Push-Ups and Side Leg Lifts can help you build a stronger core and legs.
- Build stamina- because hiking may be an all-day activity it is essential to build endurance in your muscles. How to improve hiking endurance, you may ask? If you are always busy at work and have little time for exercise, climbing stairs to train for hiking is a simple yet effective way to improve stamina. You can also include cycling and running on the treadmill (add an incline) to your training routine if time permits.
- Improve your balance- As a hiker you need to be stable on your feet. This will enable you to take on uneven terrain with ease. Simply practising to walk on a straight line will help improve your balance.
- Enhance your cardio- Supplement your hiking training with activities like trail running, speed walking, mountain biking, HIIT Training or Cross Fit.
Hiking uphill is the most difficult and the most dreaded part of the hike for any hiker. As mentioned earlier not only is it physically demanding during the hike, but many hikers suffer from calf pain and sore legs after hiking, for many days after their hike.
Therefore, common question among the hiking community is why my calves hurt when I walk uphill? Calves hurt when walking uphill due to the intense strain placed upon them during the hike.
To aid in hiking recovery follow these post hike recovery tips
Recovering from strenuous hike can be an arduous task if you are in the wilderness.
Don’t stint on food during the hikeFood is essential for your hike. As you are on the move continuously, replenish nutrients to keep fatigue at bay. A combination easy to carry food with simple sugars, protein, low glycemic index carbohydrates, fibre, and fats are great ingredients for hiking recovery. Some examples include dried dates, cooked crispy bacon, whole-grain crackers, peanut butter, cheese and sliced apples.
Hydrate (drink before you get thirsty)
Pack more water than you think you need. As a rule of thumb estimate one litre of water per three hours in moderate temperatures for adults. Water plays a pivotal role in muscle repair and the production of glycogen. Studies have proven that muscle rejuvenation progress is decelerated by half when muscles are not suitably hydrated.
How to relive sore muscles after hiking
Stretching plays a pivotal role to revive muscles after hiking. Some stretches you can try are- Calf stretch, Toe touch, Quadricep stretch and Butterfly stretch.
The best way to recover sore leg muscles
We think the best path to pain relief is by using SPRYNG, the world’s most advanced calf muscle massage tool. It uses active compression technology to improve circulation and flush out lactic acid, thereby alleviating pain.
SPRYNG has many benefits when compared to other active compression and leg compression devices in the market. A few of them are -
- Quick recovery- It takes only 15 minutes to produce results.
- Welcome freedom - It is lightweight, portable, and untethered so it fits nicely in your hiking backpack. Get up to 2.5 hours of use in a single charge and it is rechargeable via micro-USB. Therefore, it is your ideal companion when on the move.
- Extremely affordable –it is cheaper than any other active compression device on the market
- Looks great- It is available in a range of colours.
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