You'll get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of your hiking trip if you are physically well-prepared for it. We recommend hiking, swimming, running or other aerobic activity combined with strength exercises and stretching for optimum preparation. We offer the exercise regimen below as a guide to help you prepare.
Please note: it's very important to adapt this plan to fit your specific circumstances and goals, as well as the specific demands of the trip you're joining. We also recommend checking with your doctor before beginning a new workout routine. Feel free to email us or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) with questions.
- Engage in a routine of three 45-60 minute workouts per week. Workouts can mix cardio (running, climbing stairs, swimming, cycling..etc.) with strength exercises. The Stairmaster machine, with revolving stairs like an escalator, is excellent for preparing for a hiking trip.
- One day per week do an extended cardiovascular workout. Long hikes on hilly or mountainous terrain are best as they well-replicate what you're preparing for. Cycling, swimming, playing sports, or combinations of these activities, also work well. Four to six hour workouts are best.
- If you're joining a backpacking trip, we recommend putting 25-30 pounds of weight into a backpack and hiking with it during your longer, once-per-week workouts. The hillier the terrain, the better.
- Stretch before and after workouts for 5-10 minutes. Be sure and stretch all of your major leg muscles, your shoulders, and your back muscles.
- Drink plenty of fluids, 3-5 liters of water and juice per day depending on your body weight.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid highly processed or sugary foods and drinks.