The warmer days and summer months get us excited about hiking! Especially after spending the last few months indoors, practicing social distancing, and remaining safer-at-home, it feels good to hit the trails and stretch our legs in the fresh air.
Hiking is also a wonderful workout. It's great for overall fitness, cardio, as well as mental and emotional wellbeing. If you love hiking as much as we do (check out these trails for some of our favorite hikes), here are a few tips to get the most out of your hiking workouts:
1. Wear Proper Shoes
Hiking can be hard on your feet, knees, and ankles, and thus it's important to wear proper shoes when on the trails. Having adequate support is necessary for climbs and steep descents. Aside from preventing injury, the added support is better for your joints and allows you to focus more on working your leg muscles than keeping your balance. Depending on the hike, we prefer trail running shoes, hiking boots, or outdoor trainers.
2. Fuel Up
There's nothing worse than hiking on an empty stomach—seriously. Unless you're going for a quick hike in the morning and intentionally fasting as part of your workout plan, you should fuel up for the long day outside. It's also best to bring snacks and enough water to keep your body fueled and hydrated on the trails.
3. Push Yourself
While some hikes are meant for leisure, we love the ones that challenge us to climb hard and fast. When looking for hikes in your area (try the All Trails app), try to find one that is more challenging, something harder than your last hike. Maybe you opt for more miles, or perhaps you'd prefer a steeper incline. Whatever it is, try to challenge yourself and push our body to new levels.