Am I Fit Enough For Hiking?

Photo credit: Gideon Haden ChomphosyAm I fit enough for hiking? How fit do I need to be to hike? Do I need to exercise to prepare for hiking? These are all common questions for beginner hikers. Hiking is a great way to get in shape – or stay in shape – while experiencing some of the most beautiful places in the world. The difficulty of your hike determines the level of fitness required.

You’re good to go!

Practically everyone is in good enough shape to go for a hike. That’s one of the great things about hiking. People of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy hiking together. You can complete a short hike on good terrain with little elevation change, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so.

Some types of hiking are more difficult and require more physical fitness than others, however. Still, you don’t have to be in peak physical condition to complete more challenging hikes.

Here are some tips that can help you knock out some sections of trail.

  • Take your time.  Take breaks whenever necessary, and go at your own pace.
  • Bring water and snacks. You’ve got to stay hydrated, and you need calories to keep your energy up through your hike.
  • Use trekking poles. Trekking poles help take the weight off your legs, and make hiking easier.
  • Wear good, comfortable hiking shoes with a stiff sole and ankle support.

Tough hikes require more fitness

It’s possible to do difficult hikes with a low level of fitness, but generally speaking the better shape you’re in, the more enjoyable – and safer – your hike. Higher levels of fitness decrease your chance of injury and increase the enjoyment of your hike.

The more difficult the nature of your hike, the higher the fitness level should be. Things that increase the difficulty of a hike include :

  • weather
  • distance
  • elevation change
  • terrain
  • the weight of your pack
  • the duration of your hike
  • the speed at which you’re hiking

Be honest with yourself in assessing your physical condition and plan your hikes accordingly.

Getting fit enough for hiking

Again, pretty much everyone is fit enough for hiking. However, if you want to improve your hiking fitness, there are plenty of ways to do so.

Strength training for hiking, such as squats and lunges, are great ways to train for the trail.

Cardiovascular and aerobic exercise will also greatly improve hiking fitness.

Of course, the best way to up your hiking fitness is by doing the real thing. Hike often, and increase the difficulty as you go. Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for hiking supplies in Northwest Arkansas!

Leave a Reply

Follow us on Instagram

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.


Load More