Hiking For Exercise

Hiking For Exercise

Hiking is one of those great low-impact workouts that you can do anywhere. It’s a cardiovascular exercise that can lower your risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

It also helps you get your recommended 2 hours of moderate exercises a week, which are crucial for keeping your heart healthy. Plus, it’s also a good way to build up your endurance without putting too much strain on your joints.


Hiking is a low-impact, moderate intensity cardio activity. National guidelines define this as exercise that uses oxygen-derived energy to increase heart rate and lower blood pressure.

As such, hiking is a great cardiovascular exercise that offers health and wellness benefits to individuals of all ages and fitness levels. It can also help improve insulin sensitivity, increase bone strength and reduce your risk of falls.

The best way to reap the cardio benefits of hiking is to do it on varied terrain with elevation changes. Running is an excellent choice for a more intense cardiovascular workout, but it’s not recommended for all hikers, as it can lead to injuries such as shin splints.

To get the most out of your hiking experience, you should mix up your workouts by alternating between aerobic and anaerobic exercises, such as walking or sprinting. This will help you stay motivated and improve your overall fitness level.


Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and get your heart pumping but it also can be a great workout for your body. Hiking is a full-body exercise that requires strength, conditioning, cardiovascular endurance, stability, mobility and flexibility.

A strong core helps stabilize your back and pelvis, which are essential for maintaining stability on rugged terrain. Plus, it allows you to lift and move your whole body during uphill hikes without feeling as though you’re being hunched over or straining your back muscles.

To build your lower body strength, incorporate exercises that target all the primary leg muscles (quads, glutes, hamstrings) as well as your core. These workouts will help you climb up and down hills on the trail, improve your endurance, and give you that extra boost of energy to make it through the day.


If you are planning a hike, you should take the time to stretch before and after your workout. Stretching increases flexibility, helps prevent injury and reduces stiffness caused by lactic acid build-up during exercise.

Before you begin your hiking-specific exercises, make sure to warm up your body for about 5-10 minutes with dynamic stretches like an easy jog, jumping jacks or high knees and butt kicks. These exercises will get your heart rate up and also prepare your muscles for the strength work you will be doing on the trail.

A good flexibility routine should target your quads, hamstrings, glutes and lower back (core) muscles. These muscle groups will need to be flexible for all the different movements you will be doing while hiking, including pushing, pulling and hopping.


Whether you’re preparing for your first hike or a tough new trail, it’s critical to build strength and endurance. Even experienced hikers work to build their stamina before, during and after the trekking season.

Building strength in your major muscle groups, such as quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings, can help protect you from common hiking injuries like knee problems or ankle sprains. It also improves your balance so you can navigate uneven terrain with ease.

It also helps you maintain a consistent heart rate, keeping your body in an aerobic zone during long-distance hiking. During training, start slowly and build your endurance with repeated strides.

You can also practice hiking at altitude to prepare your body for the challenges of higher oxygen consumption. Breathe slowly and deeply to slow your heart rate and keep it in an aerobic zone. This is particularly important if you’re going to be hiking at high altitudes for several days.