5 More Resources for Getting Into Shape for the Trail Many hikers haven't conquered the summits on their bucket list. Their reason? They're not able to hack it, physically. That's a shame. With hiking being one of the most accessible ways to get outdoors — since it requires little upfront cost (a good pair of hiking shoes) — more folks should be using it to their advantage in reaching the vistas they dream of. In the last segment of this two-part series, we covered working out at home and at the gym. But if you're looking for ways to get on the trail and mindfully increase your abilities, this post is for you. *Note: all photos and graphics are credited to the original article source unless otherwise noted.
If you need to lay a foundation for fitness before even thinking about getting serious about hiking, this post is for you. You'll find tips on the basics for a good workout, but instead of enduring the boredom of a treadmill, you'll be hitting the trail. Find ideas for stepping it up a notch on the trail when you're ready, as well as hydration, stretching, and identifying the right kind of terrain for a hike that will pay off. http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/how-to-use-hiking-to-improve-your-fitness
Once you've laid the foundation of fitness using the above ideas (or you're already there), check out this post about upping your game by varying the way you handle trail time. For example, have you considered adding weight to your backpack? What about doing some scrambling to utilize different muscles? Check out these and more ideas in this post: http://www.active.com/outdoors/articles/the-health-conscious-camper-improve-your-hiking-workout
This post, again from Active.com, not only tells you what you can do to increase your hiking stamina, but also goes into how to do it, giving you basic plans to start with and telling you how to increase over time. It also lists what you need to pay attention to in order to develop your overall abilities, including core strength, cardio, and what to do on rest days (which are important!). This post does include information you can do at home as well, but it mostly concentrates on getting you outdoors — something we could all use more of. http://www.active.com/outdoors/articles/Get-in-Shape-For-Your-Next-Backpacking-Trip.htm
While this infographic pretty much sums it up without need for a commentary, but REI goes into even more depth on a secondary link found on this page http://blog.rei.com/hike/thru-hiking-training-tips-and-exercises. Here, they reach out to those who are looking to really go the distance with thru-hiking. If you've ever contemplated completing the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide or others, REI has fantastic advice for getting prepped.
This post from Seattle Backpackers Magazine is a little different than the rest. If you're already on the trail and looking to do gym-like exercises outdoors, this is the post for you. The article goes through eight different exercises you can do anywhere using just the weight in your backpack (of course, you can add a few rocks if needed). This would work especially well for those who are backpacking for several days and would like to do some weighted exercises to make sure they are keeping up with the workouts they would normally do back home. http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/get-fit-trail/ 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.