hiking tips

Hiking Tips

Recently I wrote about injecting some fun into your cardio workouts by doing activities other than just running on a treadmill or using an elliptical trainer, so I thought it was time to write a full article on something else I enjoy so much – hiking!

You might find hiking as fun as I do or you might think it sounds quite boring….well this article’s objective is to make you never look at hiking the same way!

Benefits of Hiking

Fresh air: well I think it goes without saying that you should try and find areas to hike which are away from the city. Getting some fresh mountain air which is rich in oxygen is going to give your lungs the ability to clear out the toxins (think about all the automobile and city pollution your lungs are exposed to every day).

Relaxation of mind: there is something about hiking which is so good for the mind. No matter how stressed you are, hiking will allow you to change your focus and ground yourself. It’s like a restart button for your brain that has countless benefits for your mind and body. I wonder if there have been any studies to see if hiking can reduce the incidence of stress-induced cancer? Take that drug companies![ad#ad-2]

Social connection: hiking with your friends or family will give you an entirely new social connection. Sharing stories while hiking is one of the best parts, and the funny thing is that the higher you get up the trail the lower the air pressure and the greater your lungs will have been saturated with oxygen – you might find yourself more giggly than usual!

Cardiovascular workout: taking into consideration all the benefits above you might forget that you are actually getting a good cardio workout in as well! Challenge yourself with this, increase your speed intermittently to get your heart rate up and even time yourself to see how fast you can get. Just remember to watch your footing and enjoy the view at the same time!

Hiking Tips – Prepping

Hiking shoes: to save your ankle and knees I highly recommend you invest in some good hiking shoes. The support and grip they provide is substantially different than any running shoe and their material is made to get muddy and wet.

Clothes: you’ll want to wear light clothes with probably a few layers so you can handle both cold and warm temperatures.

Packing: if you have a small and light backpack, it will be perfect for hiking. You’ll want to pack some snacks like protein/granola/fruit bars and take lots of water (have at least one litre for every hour). If you’re going somewhere new you may want to take a small digital camera with you, hiking photos are always pretty sweet!

Warm-up: start with a slow and steady pace and as your muscles feel warmed up then start increasing your speeds. This will help prevent injuries and allow you to really enjoy the atmosphere.

Leg workout for hiking

I wanted to include some workouts you can do at the gym to strengthen your legs (calves, hamstrings, quadriceps) to you can really challenge yourself while hiking and also prevent injuries! Here’s a leg workout for hiking ( do 3 sets of 12-14 reps of each exercise):


I hope you enjoyed this article and that you never look at hiking the same way! There are so many benefits to hiking and other than the costs of getting good hiking shoes and a backpack there is no other cost! It’s a great cardio workout and can greatly strengthen your legs and increase your coordination and agility. Have any good destinations to hike that you can share? Please leave a comment below: