Get fit—and get stoked!
Heading out on the trail? Start enjoying the experience even before you hit the trail by planning for the ultimate experience. Get your body hiking-ready with this long-range fitness prep guide.
Hiking can be a rewarding experience, even life changing. Whether you head out for an afternoon or for a week, being outdoors and away from the lights and action of real life is something our bodies need. However, hiking can also be painful, hard, and exhausting. It all depends on your mindset, and your fitness. When I was getting ready for the West Coast Trail (or the WCT, as the cool kids call it), I was serious—I wasn’t taking our six-day excursion lightly. Even though I work out for a living as a personal trainer, I didn’t want to be the one who slowed my group down. So for me, training was a matter of pride and preparedness. Here are my recommendations for getting your body hiking-ready.
Perform this six-exercise workout like a circuit, one exercise after the other, with little to no rest in between. Once completed, take a one-minute break and then perform again.
Beginners: 2 times through Intermediate: 3 times through Advanced: 4 times through
You might already be in the habit of stretching at the gym or before a run, but it’s equally important to keep your stretches in mind before, after, and even during your long hike. Here are some suggested targets for your stretching.
These can all be performed with your pack on or off:
Wear your boots as often as you can. This will break them in, as well as help prevent shin splints. Since boots weigh more than regular shoes, the increased walking and climbing mean that shin splints are a real concern for new hikers. Avoid this by walking every day in your boots (I even went grocery shopping in mine).