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hiker-in-trainingMany of my guests ask me prior to joining a guided hike with Arizona Hiking Adventures; how to get in proper shape for hiking, and how they can best prepare to complete the hiking adventure comfortably.

The answer is quite simple. Prepare, prepare and prepare!

In order to enjoy your days on the trail you should have a well-balanced training program. It is vital that you hike a few days a week, for several hours each day prior to venturing out on a multiple-day hiking adventure. If you do not have easy access to hiking trails you can enjoy walking around your neighborhood. The more you walk prior to the start of your hiking trip the more apt you will be for completing your adventure comfortably.

In addition to hiking you should also add treadmill and stair climbing to your weekly exercise routine. Incline training on treadmills or stairs lengthens and strengthens the muscles and tendons in the calf and foot muscles, while strengthening the glutes, hips and knees. This routine will greatly assist in preventing injury and excess soreness during your hiking adventure.

squat-jumpYou should also consider adding resistance training to your weekly routine. Lifting weights and strength training (push-ups and sit-ups) helps to build your strength, power and mobility. This will insure you will remain strong throughout the course of your guided hike.

Lastly, don’t forget your core! Carrying a backpack while making your way up an incline requires strong abs. Strengthen your core, and you will reduce your back fatigue. Pilates, sit-ups, abdominal and bicycle crunches, are great exercises to strengthen your upper and lower abs as well as your obliques.

side-lungesThe more you prepare physically prior to beginning your hike the more you will enjoy your adventure because you will not be physically exhausted. Proper preparation will also assist in avoiding injuries on your hike that could ruin your trip. Have the self-confidence to succeed and you will enjoy every minute of your hiking trip, regardless of the elevation or terrain.

Arizona Hiking Adventures offers multi-day guided hiking trips in Arizona, including the Havasupai Falls region of the Grand Canyon. We also guide hiking trips to Machu Picchu, Peru and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.