Staying in Shape After Your Hike

Staying in Shape After Your Hike

Staying in Shape After Your Hike


Hiking is fantastic exercise. While you’re out on the trail, the strenuous nature of hiking up and down hills with a backpack on definitely helps you burn the fat and sometimes shed unwanted pounds.

While it’s great to lose weight on the trail, often times hikers tend to gain back the weight that they lose on the trail when they’re back in civilization. I’m willing to bet that most of us have fallen into this trap – I know that I certainly have.

Here’s a training plan to help you keep in shape before your next hike.

Monday – Cardio Day

Start off the week with an hour of cardio. If you’re already a runner, get outside and start running – hills, if possible. If you’re not a runner or are just starting your training routine, go to the gym and get on a stair master, elliptical climber or, if it’s all you have available, a treadmill on a steep incline. If you want to keep the true trail experience, strap a weighted backpack on your back.

Tuesday – Strength Day

Start out with a shorter cardio workout. Use the same equipment but keep it to 25-30 minutes. After you’re done with your cardio, move on to resistance and strength exercises. Do 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps of

  • Leg Press or Squats
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Curls
  • Bench Press
  • Bicep Curls
  • Seated Row
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Crunches

Wednesday – Cardio Day

Jump back onto the stair master or treadmill because we’re back to cardio. Like Monday, do 60 minutes on your preferred machine.

Thursday – Strength Day

Repeat Tuesday’s workout for another day of strength training. Remember to keep track of your weight and acknowledge when you have to add more. You don’t want to too bulky but building and defining lean muscle will help you on the trail.

Friday – Cardio Day

Head back to the machines for another cardio workout. 60 minutes on your preferred cardio machine – this time add your backpack.

Saturday – Get Back to Nature

Time to get back on the trail. Get out somewhere and start hiking at a fast pace for three hours. If you don’t have any access to trails, get out and take to the sidewalks.

Sunday – Rest Day

Take a day and rest completely. Stretch out and stay limber but take a day to rest and let your body recover.

Tip: Make sure you watch what you eat also. You should eat more greens and less fattening foods such as white rice and bread. Cut down on fizzy drinks and even store bought fruit juice. If you feel hungry during the day instead of munching on junk food have high protein snacks such as almonds and nuts. It is virtually impossible to completely ignore junk food so you can treat yourself from time to time but monitor your intake. Instead of eating five cookies treat yourself to two as a treat.

Ian Campbell Ian Campbell is the founder of Love the Backcountry and a long time lover of adventure travel. When not writing about the backcountry, he can typically be found hiking, backpacking and camping in the mountains and looking to lay his head beneath as many trees as he can find.