Preparing to have an enjoyable hike
Hiking is a great way to enjoy some time in the outdoors.
There’s not much of a fitness-level barrier for most trails, but if you’re worried about whether you’re fit enough for your first hike or if you’re preparing for a particularly difficult one on the horizon there are some easy ways to get prepared.
- Start with some simpler trails in your local area on your weekends. Depending on where you’re at this can involve beginning with a long walk, a short jog, or a long run around the park.
- Increase your level of physical activity gradually, building up to 5 hours duration
- Mix up your training with stair climbing. Walking up and down stairs is a great way to prepare your legs for a hike.
- Practice walking on a variety of terrains, downhill training is just as important as uphill.
- Practice walking carrying a day pack with a few items in it such as a drink bottle and spare layers.
- Check out our comprehensive list of what to bring and wear on a hike.
Here are some additional tips on preparing for your hike:
Exercises & Fitness for Hiking
Your endurance level is incredibly important for hiking, especially if it will take a few days or if it involves a lot of intense inclines. To be prepared for the trail, working on your strength in terms of endurance (meaning low weight and high reps) is important.
Take time to prepare
Rome wasn’t built in a day, which is why true fitness is something that needs to be incorporated into your lifestyle over the long term. In order to minimise your chances of injury, build up slowly and progressively increase the amount of weights and general exercise that you do. If not, you risk the chance of getting injured.
Focus on cardio
The cardiovascular system and your level of cardiorespiratory endurance is critical for intense hikes. Depending on where you’re at this can involve beginning with a long walk, a short jog, or a long run around the park.
You can also try running or walking in sand or simply taking the stairs to integrate some more cardio activity into your week.
Build your leg strength
Standing, climbing, walking and carrying a lot of gear for hours on end can take a toll on your legs. Squats, with or without weights, are a good way to start working on your leg strength. If you have access to gym equipment you may want to also incorporate some dead lifts to your routine too.
Lunges and step-ups are another way to easily work on your leg strength with minimal access to equipment.
Having a strong core is needed for carrying a heavy hiking bag and other gear, plus the core is important for climbing and balance with particularly challenging trails.
If you’re looking to build your core, do some crunches and planks to practically build your core so that you’re hike ready.
One of the best ways to get fit is to simply do a lot of hiking. Start with some simpler trails in your local area on your weekends and slowly take on the more difficult walks as your major hike approaches. It’s an excellent way to prepare for a challenging hike on the horizon and also benefit your mind and body. If you’re looking to do some amazing hikes in the beautiful Queenstown area and Glenorchy check out our guided walking options and book a walk with an experienced guide to support you along the way.
Hiking is a great way to get fit and enjoy some time in the outdoors with friends. There’s not much of a fitness-level barrier for most trails, but if you’d like to work on your fitness then there are some simple exercises that can go a long way to improve your overall hike-readiness, including:
Improving your cardio-base by walking and running (on sand if possible)
Building your leg strength with simple squats and lunges
Creating a strong core with crunches and planks
Practice hiking on local trails regularly
And remember to always make sure to increase your level of physical activity gradually.
Check out our comprehensive list of what to bring and wear on a hike to make sure your walks are stress-free at all times.
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What To Bring and Wear
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Frequently Asked Questions
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