The best way to stay active this summer without wasting sunshine hours in a stuffy gym? Go for a hike. Hiking sculpts your bum, legs, hips and core, all while burning fat (Whoop!) but it comes with a whack of feel-good perks, too. Various studies have linked hiking to boosted creativity and problem-solving skills and it’s been shown to reduce anxiety and even reduce risk of depression if you do it regularly. And those happy feels can last up to five days after you’ve returned from civilisation, according to one study published in the journal Tourism Management.
The Hiking Workout
Inspired to take a hike? A bit of training will go a long way to making your sojourn in nature a magical experience, rather than a “my legs are killing me, how did this bloody bag get so heavy, I’m never doing this again!” one. This workout by fitness trainer, keen hiker, and Next Fitness Star finalist Simo Supana will build the strength and endurance you need to tackle a multi-day hike.
How It Works
Do the exercises, in order, for the number of reps required. If you’re new to exercise, Supana recommends you only do one round. If you’re relatively fit, go for two. Do the strength workout three to four times a week and the cardio component on a separate day.
You’ll need: Mat, Barbell, Treadmill, Stationary Bike
Cardio Day (60 mins)
Incline walk on the treadmill
Time: 30 minutes Incline: 8-10 Speed: Comfortable
Time: 30 minutes Resistance: Moderate RPM: 60-70
1/ Walking Lunges With Barbell
SETS: 3 REPS: 10-12 reps
Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and a barbell across your upper back. Step forward with one leg and drop down to bend both knees ninety degrees, keeping your back straight. Push through your front foot back to standing, then walk forward with the opposite leg and repeat. That’s one rep. Continue moving forward.
2/ Lower Back Extension
SETS: 3 REPS: 15
Lie on the floor on your tummy, arms must be straight ahead of you, legs straight behind, toes down. Lift your shoulders as you breathe out. Pause, then lower back to start. That’s one rep.
SETS: 3 REPS: 15 reps
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Keeping a neutral spine, shoulders and chest up, push your hips back as you slowly bend your knees until your hips are just below your knees. Make sure that your knees are in line with your feet. Push back up to standing. That’s one rep.
SETS: 2 TIME: 40-60 seconds
Start by positioning yourself on the floor with your elbows at 90 degrees, forearms on the floor. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Lift your body so your weight is supported on your forearms and your toes. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position.
5/ Standing Calf Raises
SETS: 2 REPS: 20
Stand near a wall or any object you can use for balance, feet hip width apart. Lift your heels up to rise onto your tiptoes. Hold that position for a few seconds, then lower back to start. That’s one rep.
SETS: 3 REPS: 15
From all fours, lift your knees and straighten your legs so that your body is supported on your hands and toes. Make sure your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Now bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Keep your elbows tuck in close to your body and your gaze on a spot about half a metre in front of you. Push back up to start. That’s one rep. Too hard? Switch to a modified push-up by dropping to your knees to the ground, but maintaining a straight body position from head to knees.