The African adventurer: Preparing for long hikes

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world head to Africa to experience its natural beauty. While many visitors head to safaris or stay in world-class resorts and ports, some elect to hike in the numerous majestic national parks found all over the continent. Tatiana Regan.

However, it has to be said that hiking isn’t for the weak or faint-hearted. It is a physically demanding endeavor that requires a person to be in tip-top shape. Hiking in nature involves not only walking for hours at a time on uneven terrain; a person has to carry gear on their back for almost the entirety of the activity.

On that note, here are three ways a person can get into shape for that grand adventure in nature.

Cardio, cardio, and more cardio

Three to four months before a nature hike, people should start to get in shape. Cardio workouts will pay huge dividends as it will keep their endurance levels up. From running and biking to swimming and aerobics, any activity that works their hearts and lungs will condition them for walking long distances without gassing out. Tatiana Regan.

Flexibility and balance training

Flexibility and balance training is essential especially for people new to hiking. As mentioned earlier, hiking involves traversing uneven terrain. As such, hikers need to be flexible with a good sense of balance to keep themselves right on track. Also, being flexible and balanced enough will keep a person from expending too much energy trying to be stable on uneven ground.

Back and shoulders

A lot of inexperienced hikers don’t complain about their legs aching as much as they do their back and shoulder. While cardio exercises take care of the leg muscles, for the most part, hikers need to focus on their backs and shoulders as well since they will be carrying a backpack and other gear during the hike. Tatiana Regan.

Tags: hike, nature, adventure, conditioning, preparation


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