If you’ve been hiking for a while now, then chances are you’ve gotten quite used to this activity. Of course, you should try and get more out of your hiking experience.
With that in mind, there are several ways you can turn your hike more physically challenging.
Why would you want that, you ask, when you’ve just gotten used to hiking? Well, it’s because if you want to improve or maintain your physical fitness, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
Since you are already used to the hardships of hiking, then you need to push your limit a little to be able to maintain a healthy body.
If you are about to take a bit more challenging trail in a wilderness, then don’t forget your light hiking knife for survival.
On that note, below are some ways you can do to make your hike more of an endurance workout:
Exercise Breathing Techniques
How you breathe during your exercises can determine a lot of how your body takes on fatigue. This is the reason you need to practice breathing exercises during your next hike.
However, this isn’t as easy as one would think.
The key to having a great breathing technique is by concentrating on your breathing in your diaphragm.
You can practice every day. Just make sure that you’re doing it right by making sure your chest isn’t the one moving. Instead, it’s your stomach that should be moving around the most.
Having a great breathing technique will make you much more able to tackle higher elevation. Your breathing is especially important here because you need to take in the right amount of oxygen when hiking in higher elevations.
Develop Mental Toughness
A big part of developing endurance so that you are able to get into tougher hiking trails is your mindset. You need to make sure that you develop a mental toughness with you that will help you become more confident when trying newer, tougher hiking trails.
If you’re easily discouraged when trying something new or trying out more challenging trails, then you are sure to have less endurance at the end of the day. Thus, if you want to develop a better sense of endurance, you have to get into the right mindset.
Sometimes, people get too comfortable within their comfort zone. They, then, are more hesitant to go into more challenging places.
Therefore, you should learn to push your boundaries and take pride in the fact that you are able to push yourself to the limit like that. This sort of mindset will ripple to other aspects of your life that are even unrelated to hiking.
Include Hill Intervals
To make your next hike into more of an endurance workout, you’re likely going to need to get used to hiking on inclines. Thus, to prepare for that, you should try practicing or training by including hill intervals in your practice hikes more often.
You can do this by walking or jogging on steep roads in your areas. You can also try looking up local hiking trails that have short but steep areas that you can practice with. This is sure to challenge your muscular endurance.
To make the transition to steeper hikes better, trekking poles will be crucial to keeping your stability and your balance.
Walk and Run
Hiking activities aren’t the only way you can build your overall endurance. Walking and running are two activities that are most useful for hikers. Thus, you should train your body before a big hiking trip by regularly walking and running in your area.
Remember to ease yourself into it instead of going all out immediately so that you don’t end up injuring yourself. Gradual improvement is better than rapid but risky exercises.
Also, up the ante every week by going on longer runs or walks so that you’re truly building up your endurance.
Run for a Minute, Walk for Five Minutes
Speaking of walking and running, there’s a specific regimen that you can try when training. This is especially useful if you aren’t used to exercising by running or walking.
You can first start running for half a minute then start walking for two minutes and 30 seconds. Listen to your body to find out what’s the limit of your body. By listening to your body, you are exercising your body appropriately.
Once you’ve gotten used to running and walking, you can level it up. Try running for a minute and then follow it up with walking for five minutes.
Consider Weight Training
Another form of training that will build-up your muscular endurance is weight training. It can seem intimidating at first, but developing your strength is key to endurance.
You don’t have to go all-out with this weight training. Doing some deadlifts, pushups, and squats are a big help. Even yoga can help you develop your strength too.
Again, always go gradual so that you don’t break something. Use manageable weights and slowly increase the weight once you get used to it.