Joint injuries, severe back pain, and insurmountable exhaustion can all result from being physically unprepared for a long expedition on foot. To avoid such a predicament, individuals who are planning on embarking on a long backpacking trip are highly advised to think ahead and give their body time to reach the right fitness level. There are several exercises one can do in order to avoid fatigue and serious injuries, so let’s have a look at some of the most useful ones.
An effective preparation program if you are going on a backpacking trip should entail a minimum of three days of cardio exercises per week. The most common and effective cardio workouts include:
- Indoor or outdoor cycling – strengthens leg muscle, specifically quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Swimming – builds endurance, as well as muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
- Running and lunges – contributes to bone strength and improves cardiovascular performance.
- Rowing – enhances strength in the arms and the cardiorespiratory system.
- Plyometrics, also referred to as jumping training – stimulates several different muscle groups at the same time.
- Nowadays, high-intensity workouts are very popular, but the trick to an effective hiking preparation is to ready your body gradually for the strain. This means that you should start your daily cardio workouts at least one month before the trip, and work out between 30 to 60 minutes a day. Ideally, you would work out five times a week, and incorporate two higher-intensity workouts at least three out of five days.
Stamina, endurance, and resistance are all very important factors that can help you avoid injuries and fatigue, which could be detrimental to your trip. The weight of your backpack impacts your stability and resistance in that it raises your center of gravity, which in turn significantly increases the stress on your muscular system.
Subsequently, resistance training in combination with cardio workouts is extremely essential for helping your body become more stable when encountering uneven terrain. Resistance training, as well as resistance bands, and should be preceded by a 10-minutes light cardio workout. Also, bear in mind that high-intensity exercises should be avoided on the days of resistance workouts.
Being in good shape is paramount for a successful hiking trip with a heavy load. Performing the right amount of cardio exercises in combination with resistance workouts will guarantee a victorious and unforgettable hiking experience, and last but not least, lessen the risk of serious injuries.
Written by Sally Writes