More than a physical activity, hiking is a real therapy that is good for the body and mind. We hike to feel closer to nature, to meditate and to empty, to launch and to succeed challenges. But do not forget that hiking is SPORT! So that your discovery of this mountain top is a pure pleasure and does not turn into a real ordeal, I give you my advice to be physically prepared for your first hike.
First and foremost, it is important to take the advice of your doctor, especially if you are not used to playing sports at all. Very important for any type of hike: Always walk at your own pace. No matter how fast your group is, listen to your body and do not hesitate to walk slowly and take breaks!
The hike consists mainly of walking for several kilometers, carrying a backpack containing your food and equipment for several hours, often on uneven terrain with varying degrees of elevation.
To get ready to walk in nature, there is nothing better than walking! I advise you to start walking in small doses by integrating into your daily life: walk in the morning by parking a little further from the office or leaving this time the car to the garage, walk to do shopping, walk for walk the dog, take a walk with the children, climb the steps instead of taking the elevator … The minimum would be to walk half an hour a day, at least for a few weeks before your first hike.
Say like that, it does not make you want. In fact, it should be a cardiovascular activity that will allow you to naturally develop your endurance, and that will allow you to provide a continuous effort over time to reach your final goal. Developing your heart capacity and breathing will also help you stay alert, even tired, and avoid the risk of falls or injuries during the hike.
Courting helps to train the body (and the mind) to sustain a continuous effort. Include a jogging session in your morning routine, find girlfriends to run at the end of the day or during the weekends! I advise you to start running about thirty minutes 3 times a week, 2 months before the date of your hike, on different types of terrain and gradually integrating more difficulty (slopes, descents etc.).
If you do not like or can not run for health reasons, go for a less aggressive cardio activity on your joints such as cycling, stationary cycling, swimming, aerobics, dancing or put yourself in motion. to play your favorite team sport (football, basketball …). Any physical activity that can develop your breath and stamina will help you succeed on your first hike.
To avoid aches and other injuries, always stretch before and after any physical activity. In our case, it will mainly involve stretching the muscles of the legs and back. And if we integrated sessions of stretching and zenitude? Put yourself in yoga! Yoga will allow you to acquire flexibility but above all to teach you to breathe well. This is particularly useful for long hikes where morality plays a lot on the physical. You will be amazed at the adaptability of our body when the mind is solid. Namasté!
For a successful hike, we need to know where we are going, how long will it take, what are the weather conditions, altitude and altitude, where and when to sleep, what we will eat, etc. So even if you are supported by a guide or an agency, it is essential to prepare your itinerary, check the weather conditions, take the time to adapt to the altitude, learn about the risks (avalanches, falls of stones, undesirable animals, …), and know the position of the nearest villages, lodges and rescue points.
Good equipment is essential to make your first hike more enjoyable: good, comfortable walking shoes adapted to the type of hike, a lightweight backpack adapted to your size and your body type, breathable “technical” clothing adapted to the climate, a first aid kit, enough to eat and hydrate while walking, and any other necessary accessories (sunglasses, sunscreen, walking sticks, etc.). Do not forget that the backpack must not exceed 20% of your weight so as not to handicap you during the hike!
If you can not reach the top of the mountain or the crater of the volcano, do not despair! The magic of hiking is that the road traveled is much more important than the destination. Enjoy every moment of your adventure! Be proud of what you have accomplished! And start again! So, when is that next hike? And if we started with the Atlas Mountains in Morocco?