Hiking trips are one of the most exhilarating holidays for the walking enthusiast. The sense of isolation and adventure mingled with the feeling of being one with nature, freedom from the stress of everyday life, and the thrill of depending only on yourself with just a few essential items like a rain jacket and water bottle – every moment is an experience to be cherished. But, as every seasoned hiker knows, dealing with fatigue on your hiking trip is as real as the joy and excitement of the outdoors.
The fatigue and exhaustion of long hours on the road can take away from the enjoyment of your holiday. But by taking a few steps to prep your body, you can condition it to tolerate the strain you’ll be putting your muscles through. In addition to training your muscles and tissues, also take a few precautions on the road, so you reduce the stress on your body. Here’s how:
Check with Your Medical Practitioner for a Health Evaluation
Spending long hours on the road can exert your heart and lungs leading to fatigue on your hiking trip. Talk to your doctor about your plans so he can run the mandatory tests on you and clear you of any cardiopulmonary issues. He will also check you for diabetes, hypertension, and any other medical problems because of which you might not be able to tolerate exertion. If you’re over 35 years of age, he might ask if you’ve been noticing any signs of hormone imbalances. Depending on your answers, he could recommend that you get a hormone profile done.
Why Would You Want to Get Your Hormone Levels Checked?
Imbalances in hormones like estrogen and progesterone can cause a number of adverse effects that you can’t chance while on the road. For instance, fatigue and tiredness, disturbed sleep, and insomnia. You need your muscles to recover quickly from the fatigue on your hiking trip, and getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential. Proper rest can also ensure that you get back on your feet for the next leg of your journey. Remember, hormone variations can also cause weaker muscles and bones, and you need to feel strong to endure the long walking holiday. Digestive problems are other issues you don’t need as are headaches, mood swings, and depression, among other problems.
According to the experts at BHRC, the Newport Beach hormone replacement therapy center, you can correct the imbalances with a carefully designed supplement program. This program corrects the disparities with the help of plant-derived medication that has no side-effects and is safe to use. Begin the therapy a month or two before your scheduled departure so you can avoid the possibility of fatigue on your hiking trip.
Condition Your Muscles with Walking Exercises
Condition your upper and lower leg muscles as well as the gluteal muscles in your buttocks by going on walks every day. Cover short distances in the first few days, gradually building up to longer distances as your leg muscles tone and stamina levels improve. Buy the appropriate hiking boots according to the terrain you intend to navigate and practice walking in them. To strengthen your back muscles to bear the weight of your backpack with ease, start carrying it on your practice runs.
Learn the right stretching exercises under an experienced trainer so you can do them on the road and minimize the fatigue on your hiking trip. If you intend to go trekking in the hills, practice walking on inclines. You can also sign up with a gym and train on inclined treadmills. Learn to walk with the proper heel to toe gait that lowers the stress on your legs and back and saves on energy levels.
Choose the Right Pace to Walk In
The perfect pace to walk in is one that raises your breathing rate but does not make it difficult for you to talk. You should not pant or sweat too much. Give yourself a short 2-minute break after every 20 to 30 minutes. Sit down and set the backpack down to rest your back muscles. Having covered an hour or so, take a 10-minute break. Eat a calorie-dense snack and rest your back. When you need to stop for a meal, give yourself a generous hour. Fuel your body properly and rest your muscles giving them time to recover. Using these strategies, you should be able to lower the fatigue on your hiking trip.
Eat the Right Foods that Build Endurance and Stamina
Take care to eat the right foods that will make up for the calories you burn. You’ll also need adequate amounts of protein so that your muscles recover and rebuild after the strain of carrying you around. Aim for 0.5 to 0.75gms of protein per pound of your body weight per day. Look for dry foods that have a minimum of 130 calories per ounce of weight. These items include peanut butter, dried fruit, energy bars, nuts, beans, and cheeses, among others.
By eating adequate proteins and carbohydrates, you’ll lessen the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. In short, as an average 125-pound to 155-pound person, you’ll need to replenish 180 to 225 calories that you burn per 30 minutes of walking to keep away fatigue on your hiking trip.
Dehydration is one of the major causes leading up to fatigue on your hiking trip. And, nothing replaces the hydration levels in your body better than good old plain water. Remember to drink at least half a cup of water every half an hour even if you aren’t thirsty. To make sure you’re drinking enough, monitor the color of your urine. It should be almost clear.
Hiking holidays can be incredible experiences that tax your body as much as they are rewarding. But, but taking a few precautions, building stamina and endurance, and preparing your body well, you can anticipate and avoid excessive fatigue on your hiking trip. And, when you stand at the end of your trail and view the world at your feet, the aches and pains will seem every bit worth it.
Have a wonderful holiday!