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 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?!
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.
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 She Sweats 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 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?
- What to Wear Hiking
- What to Eat While Hiking
- Hiking Etiquette 101
- Top 5 Tips for Visting National Parks
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Hike
- Our Trip Recaps
- 6 Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts to Help Keep Invasive Pests from Spreading