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Take it Outside

Conditioning Your Body for Hiking


Updated January 03, 2005

Conditioning Your Body

Before you hit the trail, make sure your body is ready. Even if you're in great shape, hiking can cause soreness in muscles you never knew you had, particularly in your legs. To increase your endurance try:

  • stair-steppers
  • elliptical trainers
  • climbing machines
  • running

    Of course, the best way to condition your body for hiking is to actually go hiking. Start with short hikes at low elevations and carry a small daypack. If you don't have trails nearby, simply strap on a backpack for your next walk. Another option is to carry a backpack while you're on the treadmill. Gradually increase the incline of your treadmill walks to simulate hiking up rolling hills. Try this treadmill workout to get your body ready for your first hike.

    Strength training is another key component for a pleasant hiking experience. Following a consistent weight training program will help prepare your muscles for all-day physical activity. Plus, when your muscles and joints are strong, you're less likely to injure yourself. Your program should include training for all of your muscle groups as well as plenty of stretching. These workouts will help you build strength for the trail:

    For more workout ideas, visit my Workout Center and choose your own routine. Whatever you choose, make sure you get a little conditioning before your next hiking trip...your body will thank you!

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