6 Resources for Getting Into Shape for the Trail

Hiking is probably one of the easiest outdoor activities to get into: the basic gear comes down to a sturdy pair of shoes (and even then, some argue for the barefoot movement). While easy trails don’t require much of us, physically, the most rewarding trails often ask us to put some work in — and the payoff is often worth the effort. If you’re ready to explore further but your body isn’t, here are several ways to get yourself trail-ready.

*Note: all photos and graphics are credited to the original article source unless otherwise noted.

1. Five Yoga Poses for Hiking

Fitness for Hiking

You already know that yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles, keeping you flexible for everyday activities. Why not use it to prep for harder trails? You’ll find better balance, helpful for carrying the increased load of a backpack up tight trails. This style of training also lends itself to increasing mental endurance, helping you on those long uphill battles you’ll face on more difficult trails.

Check out these five poses to get started: http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/article/10688697/five-yoga-poses-hiking

2. 8 Exercises for Better Hiking

Fitness for Hiking Step Ups

Katie Levy, a cross fit athlete and avid outdoor woman, says, “…supplement your outdoor pursuits with exercises that’ll help you develop balance, strength, and agility where you need it most. The stronger your legs are, the easier it’s going to be to stride uphill with a heavy pack all day.” In this article, she recommends eight different exercises you can do at the gym that isolate leg muscles, build strength, and increase physical endurance for the trail: http://hub.sierratradingpost.com/exercises-for-hiking/

3. Backpacker Bible: Hike Farther

Fitness for Hiking Backpacker Mag

Backpacker Magazine has earned its reputation as being a core resource for hikers and backpackers everywhere, which is why the next few resources are found from its archives. In the first page of this particular online article, the editors gathered together seven exercises you can do at home or at the gym to strengthen your hiking habit: http://www.backpacker.com/skills/backpacker-bible-hike-farther/

 

4. 7 Ways To Get Fit For Hiking In Just 10 Minutes A Day

Fitness for Hiking Backpacker

Backpacker Magazine recruited the help of James Fisher, a certified personal trainer, to instruct readers on not only physical ways to improve their hiking, but also mental tactics. He admits that ten minutes a day is good for those who are just starting out, but if you’re further “along the trail” (so to speak), you’ll want to put more time into these exercises to get the most out of them. If you’re looking for a holistic approach for your hiking game, check out what James has to share: http://www.backpacker.com/skills/fitness/7-ways-to-get-fit-for-hiking-in-just-10-minutes-a-day/

5. 11 Things Every Hiker Should Know About Fitness

Fitness for Hiking Backpacker 2
via Backpacker Magazine; photo by Lisa Cyr/Flickr

If you’d like an at-a-glance article that balances on-trail and off-trail tips, personal trainer James Fisher returns with not just suggested exercises for hikers, but tips for stretching, warming up, and recovery as well. He also shows ways to shake up your exercise routine to increase your stamina (and more). This post works hand-in-hand with the tips in the post above, but is full of enough solid foundational ideas and bonuses that it can stand on its own, as well. http://www.backpacker.com/skills/fitness/11-hiking-fitness-tips/

6. Off-Season Conditioning for Hiking

Fitness for Hiking Off Season

 

Just like skiers and climbers concentrate on off-season fitness, hikers and backpackers should as well. If the current season is keeping you indoors, you can keep yourself in shape (or even improve your hiking ability!) in the off-season by staying off the couch and on your feet. Seattle Backpackers Magazine snagged exercise tips and demos from certified personal trainer Joy Konieczka, who focuses on a full-body workout in this post. http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/season-conditioning-hiking/

Have any tips to add for hikers who are looking to step up their game to the next level? Let everyone know in the comments or by reaching out on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. Leaving home to journey westward alone, she chased the sun to Utah. Over the years, she was consumed with skiing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and getting lost on back roads. But exploration continued to call. After closing her bakery — which funded college courses and adventure — she stored her possessions and hit the road again, on a quest to reach the distant places of North America. For three years she lived in her little Mazda 3 and skied the backcountry of Alaska, slept under the northern lights in the Yukon Territory, ice climbed Colorado's frozen canyons and rock climbed across the continent, photographed Nova Scotia’s coves, backpacked in southern US wildernesses and munched on sugared tamarindo in the jungles of Mexico. But living in a car started to feel limiting, so after seeing the many glories this continent had to offer, she chose the only place fitting for an explorer to spend a lifetime of wild wonder: British Columbia. Dual citizenship in hand, she settled along the Powder Highway in the Selkirks and is now making her home between four walls and deeply wooded mountains. When she's not playing the part of a photojournalist, Gina can be found collaborating with women worldwide through her nonprofit, Outdoor Women's Alliance, and working to improve her outdoor skills and wilderness safety certifications.

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