Health

Pre-Hike Prep For Outdoor Adventures

July 5, 2022

It’s finally hiking season in Canada. Hiking is a powerful, low-impact cardio workout that is proven to strengthen the glutes, quads and calf muscles, as well as reduce stress, increase endurance, and improve balance. But before heading out to adventure, decompress and have fun in the great outdoors, it’s important to stretch first. Taking the time to prep the body can reduce the risk of injuries on the trails, so we asked Fitness World’s Mark Posten, certified trainer, to share some pre-hiking tips and tricks. —Vita Daily

Lower Body Prep

Leg Swings 3 x 10 reps (each side): When you get to the trailhead, find a tree or sturdy sign and hold on with one hand. Keep your feet hip-width apart and swing your inner leg.

Kick-Backs 3 x 20 reps: Standing hip-width apart, keeping your knees toward the ground, start kicking your heels until they reach the back of the hips.

Shoulders & Neck

Carrying a backpack full of healthy snacks, water and other essentials is important for spending extended periods of time outdoors. Take time to release tension in the neck and shoulders pre-hike to reduce fatigue in the upper back from excess weight and tight straps.

Shoulder Rolls 3 x 10 reps: Stand up straight and roll shoulders back, and then repeat the same motion forward.

Neck Stretch 30 seconds (each side): Gently tilt the head to one side and hold the stretch, and then repeat on the opposite side.

Build Up the Pace

For the first 5-10 minutes of the hike, try to start at a lighter pace to continue warming up key muscle groups in the lower body. Not only will this help reduce fatigue later in the hike, but it will also strengthen smaller muscles around the ankles and knees to prevent injury from walking on uneven ground.

fitnessworld.ca

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