This is one of the main concerns of those who want to get into long-trail hiking and mountaineering. How to get fit before becoming a mountaineer? This question has many answers, but there are some guidelines that are always high in priority towards building the skill and the endurance to climb mountains and hike trails.
First off, everyone should know
that muscle mass is meaningless in mountaineering, so if you are working up your upper body you should shift the priority to the lower body. In this respect, the workout doesn’t need to be heavy as we are going for precision here. You want to develop your quads and your various biarticular muscles. Building a strong back is vital too because taking long walks while carrying a backpack on puts a lot of pressure on your entire lower body, including your ankles and spine. The spinal muscle group is of huge importance, so doing crunches and push ups is very important to harden those muscles. The lower back muscles can be worked by walking a narrow line, one foot in front of the other. Doing this on an elevated platform or a plank is upgrading the exercise because the balancing act puts more pressure on the lower back. What this does is improve your sense of balance, which may be needed if you need to skim some rocks on a narrow ledge.
is another matter. Jogging is a great way to start building endurance. One great exercise is to jog and do short dashes to put more tension on the muscles. However, climbing up trails demands that your ankles are solid, so finding a good exercise for your ankles is in order. This can be done by climbing many flights of stairs while centering your weight on the front part of your feet. Doing push-ups on your toes is another way to do this. Spinning your ankles in place while laying on your back also does the job. In fact, this is an open-ended exercise that you can tailor according to your needs. There are multiple ways in which you can work your ankles and the gastrocnemius group, which is the below the knee.
Breathing is vital
part to climbing and hiking so breathing exercises should be explored to help you learn how to save your breath and how to do circular breathing cycles. Many mountaineers reach higher altitudes and lose oxygen in the brain because of taking short breaths. Learning to breathe in through the nose and circling the air through the lungs and out of the mouth is crucial. If you reach altitudes of 3000 meters or higher, you ought to know that the air gets thinner and the lungs demand more oxygen.
Many people overlook meditation
as a way to improve health and fitness. Meditation is a boon to hikers and mountaineers. Before setting on a hiking or mountaineering expedition, regardless if it lasts one day or few, spend the day before the trip meditating. This doesn’t need to be full on meditation and the objective is not transcendence. The objective here is to feed your cells and tissues the photons that they crave so dearly. Meditation is also a breathing exercise that calms the brain synapses and cools the head from the pent-up stress from the workweek. Going tired on a trip is a disastrous thing to do, so please, do get rest.