What's beautiful with trekking is that most people can do it, but should you train and prepare your body for the first hike of the year? How much should you push yourself and how to prevent injuries? We got a hold of Angeliqa who runs the blog Vandringsbloggen again and asked about her thoughts on the matter.
Is it necessary to train your body before a hike?
Not really, but if your body is trained and prepared for what's to come, it's less prone for injuries. Basic fitness and strength is always good when trekking. You don't have to lock yourself into a gym several days a week, but functional exercises with your bodyweight and regular walks are good.
Do you have any good tips on how?
Walking to and from work in your hiking boots and a packed backpack is great and enough exercise for longer treks. Start of with packing your backpack with no more than 4 kg and then gradually add weight up to 12 kg to be kind on your body.
And hill training! Training your leg muscles to walk up and downhill is usable before getting out in mountainous terrain.
What shoes and clothes to bring?
Backpack and boots are the two most important purchases for those who want to get starting on trekking. They are big part of the experience and could make the road easier.
Apart from above, comfortable and durable clothes will take you far. Start of with what's laying around at home or borrow from friends, and then supplement with clothes and equipment as you go. You don't need to be fully equipped from the start.
And how to prevent blisters and sore knees?
Prepare your body with the right exercises before the hike. Also try to minimize the weight of the backpack as much as possible, every extra kilo will wear on your knees. Make sure your feet are dry and use double socks in your boots to minimize the friction against the skin. And change socks often. A pair of sturdy and stable hiking boots will be your knees and back's best friend when hiking.
However, my best advice is to always listen to your body. Don't walk those last kilometers just because, dare to ask your friend to help out carrying if it's too heavy and don't continue walking if you feel you're about to get blisters on your feet. An emerging blister is not going to get better if you continue walking and thus, make sure to pause and tape your feet, adjust any twisted socks before your head off again.
Do you have any other tips on what to think about before a hike?
Have fun when your out trekking and plan for plenty of time.
Most of the times it takes a lot longer than expected to pack up the tent and have your breakfast in the morning. Also, your walking pace tends to be slower when trekking with a heavy backpack then walking at home. I normally estimate walking three kilometers/hour on the hiking trail, which gives me plenty of room to enjoy the nature and not stress by the end of the day.
TO SUM UP:
- You don't need to train your body for a hike.
- But, there will be less risk of injuries if you do.
- Functional exercises with your body weight is great.
- Walk regularly with both your boots and backpack on. Hill training as well.
- Backpack and hiking shoes is your best investment.
- Wear double socks and keep your feet dry.
- Remember to always stop and tape your feet when you feel a blister coming up.
- Have fun when trekking and plan for time to enjoy it.