You're busy, but you dream about being a better hiker. If only you were stronger and had more endurance. Here's 10 hiking training hacks that take fewer than five minutes out of your day and can make a big impact on your hiking fitness.
1. Take the stairs – No matter where you are, take the stairs! Climbing or descending stairs throughout the day is a great training tool and metabolism booster.
2. Use a standing desk – If your feet hurt after a long hike, it’s likely because you’re not used to spending that much time on them. Even if you train with city walking for six miles, a six-mile hike with elevation will probably take longer. Get the muscles in your feet used to being on them longer by standing more throughout the day.
3. Draw the alphabet – Practice drawing the alphabet with your feet when you’re not standing. This activity increases ankle mobility and strength and is easy to do during a meeting or your morning commute on the train.
4. Drop your pencil jar – Then squat to stand to pick each one up. You can knock out 10-15 squats, and if anyone walks in, it looks completely functional.
5. Park away from the door – You’ve likely heard this before, and while it might seem silly or inconvenient, it’s a great hack for getting in more walking throughout the day.
6. Take a walking meeting – An interesting dynamic happens when people walk together. Their cadence syncs up, and they fall in step with one another. Add in facing parallel rather than directly at each other, and you’ve set the stage for effective team building, idea generating, and conflict resolution. Plus, you’re getting more steps in. If it’s a conference call, throw in those ear-buds and hoof it around the office or outside.
7. Put everyday items on a high shelf – Whether you’re trying to reach a binder at work or your favorite coffee mug at home, every step up and down on a small stool prepares you for elevation.
8. Load up your briefcase or satchel – While everyone usually tries to take only what’s necessary, adding in a little extra weight can help you train for hiking. So throw in that extra hardback you’ve been reading, then practice the farmer’s carry by holding it on one side and contracting the opposite trunk for an effective core, arm, and upper back workout. Alternate sides as you walk into work.
9. Ride your bike instead of taking the car – Riding to commute to work or run errands improves your cardiovascular endurance and overall fitness. Follow all road rules and safety precautions.
10. Put your feet up – Getting plenty of rest is important for physical recovery. To feel rejuvenated, set and honor a deliberate bedtime. Establish a consistent routine of good sleep hygiene, and wake up ready to hack your hiking training again tomorrow.
Ready to feel strong and confident on the trail? Schedule a consultation and learn how The Healthy Hiker Virtual Training Program can help you be effective with your hiking training and conquer your dream trail!