We have been trying to incorporate more personal stories and posting about our travel/hikes. I’m still really behind on our hiking trips but plan to finish them all soon! These are really important for us to share because as we’ve mentioned many times before, we do not live in the gym. We don’t diet and exercise to look a certain way.
This is a lifestyle for us because it allows us to do the activities we love. One of those activities is hiking. We don’t want to just drive around and look at the mountains or go a quarter mile into the trail, we want to conquer the mountain!
We’ve climbed some scary trails like Angels Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. We’ve also climbed the highest peak in the lower 48, Mount Whitney. Some of our hiking trips are two weeks long where we hike over 120 miles.
I’m not saying this to brag but I want you to understand that if you just consistently train year-round you can do anything you put your mind to! It’s just like eating healthy year-round, it will save you so much time and energy and you won’t have to constantly worry if your clothes are going to fit or not.
So, to answer the question…
HOW TO GET IN SHAPE FOR HIKING
- Weight Train 4-5 times per week
- Cardio 2-3 times per week
- Yoga 1-2 times per week
P.S. These also apply to backpacking!
Are you surprised that the answer isn’t MORE cardio or hiking?!
RELATED: 5 Things We Have Done to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle for 5+ Years
Many people ask what we do to prepare for our hiking trips. Honestly, we don’t do anything different from our normal workout routine. We work out similar to how the She Sweats 12-Week Transformation plan is structured with weight training and cardio. Closer to the trip, we tend to steer more towards the She Sweats 12-Week Run Builder, trading in some of the running for incline walking/sprints but we don’t spend hours a day working out (unless we are hiking). It’s just not necessary or healthy for most people.
UPDATE!!!!!! We now have our very own workout plan for hikers! It was designed to make you a better and stronger hiker. You can read all about The Trailblazer 12-Week Hiking Workout Plan here.
WEIGHT TRAINING FOR HIKING
Building strong legs, a strong back, and a strong core are keys for hiking. Leg day is my absolute favorite (if you’ve ever done one of our workout plans you probably already know that!). I also do back extensions and core work like planks to warm-up for almost every workout, even if it isn’t necessarily “back day”.
Here are some examples of weight training exercises you could start incorporating:
- Back Extensions
- Walking Lunges
- Reverse Lunges
- Squats (Body Weight Squat or Plie Squat)
- Split Squats
If you are a beginner, you can start with some at-home exercises using just your body weight. Once you get the form down you can incorporate weights. Check out this full-body hiker workout!
We have workout plans that tell you exactly what to do each day! They are our detailed 4, 6, and 12-week Workout plans. We guide your workout each day, telling you exactly what to do and what intensity to work at. We have everything you need. Find out more!
CARDIO FOR HIKING
As far as cardio goes, it’s best to incorporate other forms of cardio into your training instead of only hiking. There are many different things to try (indoors or outdoors!) such as biking, swimming, or running.
This is how I split up my cardio days, assuming I’m doing three days of cardio:
- Running (I usually stick with 3 miles outside. Honestly, if the weather isn’t nice I don’t run!)
- HIIT (either sprints on the treadmill or hill sprints outside)
- Hiking! (If the weather isn’t nice or we don’t want to travel to hike I will use the stairclimber at the gym)
YOGA FOR HIKING
Stretching pre and post-hike is VERY important. Dynamic stretching before your hike and static stretching after are very important to your overall hiking experience (especially how you feel the next day!)
You will notice a huge difference in how you feel the days after your hike if you incorporate a consistent yoga routine. We typically try to do yoga (30 minutes – 1 hour) 1-2 times per week. I prefer going to a yoga class but Scott prefers to do a YouTube class at home. There are many great instructors out there! One of our favorites is Yoga with Adriene. We also have a Yoga Challenge that might make it easier for you to get into the habit of yoga practice.
We want you to know that anyone can hike! It only requires putting one foot in front of the other. It’s definitely a “mind over matter” situation a lot. However, being properly prepared/trained to hike will make it more enjoyable!
We will be sharing A LOT more of our traveling tips. We have posts planned on every single thing we do to save money before the trip and during the trip. We have/will share how/where we book our lodging, flights, and how we handle meals while traveling. Traveling is only as expensive as you make it.
Join us on Instagram where we share a lot of our hiking pictures and sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a post!
LOOKING FOR MORE HIKING INSPIRATION? KEEP EXPLORING:
- The Trailblazer 12-Week Hiking Workout Plan
- What to Wear Hiking in Warm Weather
- What to Wear Hiking in Cold Weather
- What to Eat While Hiking
- Hiking Etiquette 101
- Top 5 Tips for Visiting National Parks
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Hike
- Our Trip Recaps
- 6 Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts to Help Keep Invasive Pests from Spreading
Erin Jenkinson says
I tried to sign up for your newsletter but it didn’t work. I’m 59 and my husband and I are going to be rving… I want to go hiking but i’m not in shape. I thought I’d start slow and gradually be able to go further and further. Wish me luck!
Whitney Carlson says
Hi Erin! I’m so sorry that the link didn’t work. I’ll look into that ASAP. Thanks for letting me know!
I am jealous, I want to go RVing! You will definitely be able to do anything you put your mind to! Good luck and please keep me updated on your progress!
If you still want to sign up for the email you should be able to with this link: http://madmimi.com/signups/115003/join
what about hiking consistently as exercise, starting with shorter hikes then gradually move to longer and longer ones until you get used to it…..
Whitney Carlson says
Yes, that is a great idea but you also want to incorporate strength training and not only cardio. Strength training will help you become a better hiker!