Follow the “Golden Rules” on keeping Fit throughout the hike!!

Hiking is a fun activity as long as you know your limits and maintain the basic level of fitness necessary for any physical activity of this stature. Sure it looks easy on TV, and your friends might have been boasting about how effortless it is to go backpacking down unknown trails…but it is up to you to regulate your fitness levels for the trail. And it just doesn’t end there, it is equally essential to maintain that fitness throughout the trip…here’s how.


There are 2 aspects of a hiking trip as far as the question of fitness goes; fitness both before your hiking trip and during the hike is equally important:

You need to map out the area you will be hiking in, take stock of your resources and figure out your strengths and weaknesses.

Let us check out the Pre hike fitness guidelines:

  • Practise walking so that you can build up your stamina. You need to be able to walk at least 6 hours solid without taking a break.
  • Maintain a journal to take stock of how much walking you are doing and the improvement.
  • Consult your doctor for medical conditions that need immediate check up and take a second opinion as to whether you are medically fit for a strenuous hiking trip.
  • Chart out a fitness routine to fit in with your daily routine and map your progress.
  • Build up your shoulders, back and upper body. Your back takes a lot of weight when you carry your backpack.
  • Work on your legs…they take immense pressure when hiking.
  • Engage in aerobic exercises.
  • Join a yoga class to get your body into shape.
  • Mimic the backpacking trip, complete with fake backpack filled with adequate weight so that you get a hang of it.

Fitness On the trail:

Once you get to the trail, it is necessary to maintain a stable fitness level in order to make the most of your hike.

Follow the “golden rules” and you will be fine…

  • Clothing: Try to wear a good pair of shoes, preferably with cushioning under the heel, and a wide toe box that is flexible. Make sure it has a firm mid-sole, about 1/2 inches between your toes and the end of the shoe. Also, wear loose fitting apparel, one that is comfortable without getting in the way. To ensure a good and proper run of your metabolism and bodily functions, comfort wear goes a long way indeed. Rely on a good trekking pole, especially if you are no longer as fit as you used to be.
  • Exercise: It is not for just pre-hike purposes; even on the trail exercise should be your best friend first thing in the morning. You have worked your muscles to the limit on the hike, so make sure to STRETCH them adequately for circulation and otherwise.
  • Stretch your arms outwards, do some careful back arches and roll back to touch your toes.
  • Loosen your joints by slowly circling your neck, shoulders and hips. Move your toes in a circling motion and loosen your knees. Rock yourself between your toes and heels to flood your calves and ankles with strength.
  • Squats, simple spot jogging and a bit of pushups can work as good warm up exercises.
  • Hydration: Drink adequate water since a slight case of dehydration can cause serious problems for you. But a proper intake of water can rid you of most problems, and promote proper circulation and metabolism. You feel less tired and drained with regular water induction.
  • Lay off junk: Eating healthy is of utmost importance. You don’t want to be plagued with an upset stomach on the trail and it is absolutely essential that you stay away from junk rich in carbs and fat.
  • Food for fuel: Eat small meals throughout the day and make sure they are balanced out in matters of nutrition. You need to burn calories as you walk, and for that your body needs fuel to burn. Food affords that fuel, and if you neglect proper meals, you will find yourself in great discomfort and exhaustion.
  • Rest: You need to rest your tired muscles as well; it is not advisable to push yourself to the limit. You need to stay alert at all times through the unknown or even known trail. To have a sharper focus, your body and mind needs its proper rest, so don’t skip it.
  • Limited alcohol is absolutely essential whenever you are in the midst of unknown or lesser known terrain. You need to have your body running in its optimal status, and alcohol does not help the situation.
  • Safety measures to avoid accidents: Never to be forgotten or ignored. To stay fit you also need to have a fit body and the least number of accidents is possible only if you follow the security measures prescribed by experts.

Now that you know the “golden rules” to ensure fitness throughout the hike, do follow them to the letter!! Happy hiking!! 🙂