Why do you prefer better endurance? Well, by making endurance easier and possible for hikers everywhere, hiking becomes a much more enjoyable activity. Endurance is important in hiking so you can go on for longer and not get tired. Since there are so many wonderful hiking routes, you are automatically willing to improve your endurance by only reading these stories! You can think of taking breaks when necessary, being mindful of your surroundings and body, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and ensuring to eat frequently so that you will avoid fatigue. Below are 5 tips and tricks on how exactly to do this.
But first, just a little test: Hold both arms outstretched in front of you. Hold for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat the exercise. Now hold for 60 seconds.
Was it successful? Or did the arms get so heavy along the way that you had to put them down? How long you can do this has everything to do with the endurance of the muscles. If you don’t make it to 60 seconds, it’s time to improve your stamina. It’s a matter of practicing often and a lot, constantly pushing your limits.
1. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is an important part of exercising. If you do not exercise, it makes hiking difficult since your endurance will be low. Exercising for even 15 minutes a day can help increase endurance to hike more easily with less effort in the future. Try to exercise three to five times a week at a medium constant intensity. It’s better to exercise three times a week at a medium intensity than to go full-on only once. This is because endurance isn’t something that can be built up overnight. It takes a long time and endurance needs to be exercised regularly for it to improve, so going at a medium intensity three times a week will help your endurance out more than once a week with full-on power.
2. Try interval training
With interval training, you change your pace during your workout. Make short thirty-second sprints and alternate with 4 minutes 30 seconds of walking at a leisurely pace. Do this eight times in a row. Follow this workout three times a week. Soon you will notice that you are a lot fitter. Extend the bit of running by 30 seconds each week, this way you can build up your fitness. Then after 10 weeks, you can run for 40 minutes in a row and you can say that you have a top condition. Aversion to running? Uptempo walking (power walking) also works. Walk as fast as you can, while it still feels like walking (not running). Do this for 15 minutes a day. Every day, for a week. Extend your power walk workout by 5 minutes each week. After four weeks your condition will be excellent and you will be able to power walk for half an hour at a time, but of course, you don’t have to stop there. Don’t overdo it! If you are exhausted, your endurance will not improve. Make interval training a part of your fitness routine, and you will see how it improves your endurance in the long run.
3. Rest regularly
Listen to your body. Your muscles, heart, and blood vessels need to recover after an intensive workout. If you are hiking, rest after every hour. This will give your muscles enough time to recover and prepare them for the next stretch of road or trail. Start at an easy pace, maybe try one kilometer which is about half a mile first (or 1000 meters). If you rest regularly, your endurance will improve. Building endurance takes time! You cannot expect to run a marathon after exercising for one week. It takes months, sometimes even years depending on your fitness level and other factors like diet. Relaxation is key! Make sure you relax all the muscles in your body when you are walking or running.
Building your stamina is not something you do in a day. It’s a long-term project. Or in other words, hang in there. Building your stamina is not easy. It will be a process of trial and error but perseverance wins. Endurance building requires motivation! Sometimes, you need to overcome your feelings of exhaustion and face challenges with courage. Only then can endurance improve! It might take a while, but your patience will be rewarded in the end. When you have increased your endurance, the result is better memory and more perseverance to achieve what you want. You will also be less distracted when focusing on activities or tasks at hand. The more focus you have, the less likely you are to feel fatigued. When your endurance is improved, life becomes easier!
5. Eat a varied and healthy diet
The latest research shows that healthy, not spicy food reduces your chances of getting sick. The researchers believe that eating healthy has other advantages too. It’s good for our intelligence and memory functions as well! So it probably also contributes to a higher quality of life in general. Sufficient exercise and a varied diet go hand in hand. Eating healthy or varied does not necessarily mean going on a diet. It does mean feeding your body with the nutrients it needs. And yes, this includes fat. Sugar, on the other hand, is a bigger culprit. This is all too well known to endurance athletes and runners. It’s not a secret that sugar makes you tired, instead of energized after eating it. Eating some chocolate or another treat once in a while won’t hurt your endurance training but keep the portions small.
Need more inspiration?
Think about taking Pilates classes. This may look low-impact, but it’s not! The gentle movements often performed in a reclining position don’t betray the fact that it is one of the best workouts for your core (trunk muscles). An excellent sport to keep your back in shape. Or maybe power yoga is more suitable for you. You might not think of yoga when you want to train your muscles, but yoga also makes a considerable claim on your muscle strength. Especially the more intense forms like power yoga. You may not get a pumped-up body, but you do get strong and flexible muscles.
If these tips have helped you increase your endurance, you can test it by taking a hiking vacation. Take a look at Bookatrekking.com for more inspiration and information regarding various travel holidays they offer. This company organises hikes all over the world and has experienced Trekking Experts, who are willing to help you with your next trip!