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Hiking Exercise Plan

July 29, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

In today’s society, exercise is on everyone’s mind. With a plethora of models and actors looking stunning on every magazine cover, it is no surprise why most of us want to look just as great. Surprisingly, camping and hiking are two outdoor activities that are great for speeding up your heart rate. Not only is it intense cardio, but it is enjoyable for most. The beauty of hiking is that it allows you to go at your own pace. In addition, you can intensify it at any time – from changing the level of resistance to speeding up the routine. No matter what you want to do – hiking lets you set the limits.

Depending on the duration of the hike, it can actually be a great workout. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or have been hiking since you were a child – everyone can benefit. Additionally, the more you push yourself and hike regularly, the more stamina you will actually obtain. This is great for someone who wants to get in shape, but just can’t stand working out at the gym.  

If you are looking for the ultimate work out, most recommend doing it at least three times a week. A moderate workout of 30 minutes is all you really need to get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. Though this sounds like quite a lot of hiking in one week, you can easily change it up. Try different trails, routines, and perhaps add an assortment of activities. For instance, if you climbed a steep trail at a fast pace, you could undoubtedly slow down the difficulty level for the next day. This will burn an abundance of calories, as you are continuously challenging your body.

Not sure how to start? Below we have set up a sample hiking exercise plan:

Sun Mon Tue Wed  Thu   Fri Sat
30 min hike  30 min hike  2 hr hike

Once you begin to feel comfortable with 30 minute hikes, you should try to incorporate longer lengths at least once a week. Currently pass this beginning stage? Not a problem. Below is an example of what you could do, if you are desperate for a challenge:

Sun  Mon Tue  Wed  Thu Fri Sat
2 hr hike 2 hr hike 2 hr hike 4 hr hike

If you just cannot seem to get in two hour hikes three or four times a week, this is not a problem. Studies have shown that if you perform this activity for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week, you will still notice results. Many professionals recommend challenging your current routine. Attempt to add weight to your pack, which will help test your endurance. Moreover, change the terrain and find something a bit steeper.

Regardless of your preference, results revolve around consistency. You absolutely have to maintain your workout schedule and stick to it. While it seems impossible to take hours out of the day to work out, it certainly can be done. If the weather is not adequate, there are hundreds of other alternatives. Fortunately, this can actually lend a helping hand to your motivation.

While hiking is a huge cardio activity, there are many others. From brisk walking to running, jogging, swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing, and even kickboxing – all of these activities will strengthen your endurance and your overall health. As long as you are working beyond your maximum effort, you will be able to get your heart pumping. In order to figure out whether or not you are working hard, try taking the talk test. If you can’t talk because you’re breathing too hard, you know it is time to slow down.

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