Start by gradually adding distance and difficulty to your walks or runs
If you’re just starting out, start with shorter distances and work your way up. Once you’re comfortable walking or running for 30 minutes to an hour, you can start to add some hills or other inclines to your route. If you live in a flat area, you can find a local park or trail with some elevation changes.
You should also gradually add weight to any backpack you’re carrying. Start with a light pack (10-15% of your body weight) and slowly increase the amount of weight you’re carrying each week.
Incorporate hills into your route for a more challenging workout
If you live in a flat area, you can find a local park or trail with some elevation changes. You can also create your own hill workouts by running up and down stairs or repeating a hilly loop several times.
Add intervals of high-intensity cardio to build endurance
Interval training is a great way to build endurance for hiking. Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up, then alternate between 1-2 minutes of fast walking or running with 2-3 minutes of slower walking or jogging. Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes, then cool down with a 5-10 minute walk.
Build strength with bodyweight exercises
Hiking requires a lot of leg strength, so focus on exercises that target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. squats, lunges, and step-ups are all great exercises to start with. You can also add in some upper body exercises to work your arms and core, such as push-ups, planks, and rows.
Include balance training in your workouts
Hiking often requires quick shifts in weight and balance, so it’s important to include balance-training exercises in your workouts. Single-leg drills like lunges and single-leg deadlifts are great for this. You can also try standing on one leg while you perform upper body exercises or hold a weighted object in one hand.
Make sure you’re properly fueled and hydrated
It’s important to eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated when you’re training for hiking. Make sure to eat plenty of healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. And be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during and after your workouts.