In what ways hiking is a fitness activity?

    Nothing better than hiking to look after and maintain your body in shape. Walking require almost all the muscles of the body. Marie-Claude Hubert, mountain hiking guide at the Mont-Blanc (Alpes, France), tells you everything there is to know.
    You find Marie-Claude Hubert on her website: yogarando.com

     

    IN WHAT WAYS CAN HIKING HELP YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY?

    First of all, hiking is an endurance sport, accessible to everybody. Endurance means walking for quite a long time at your own rhythm, that you will find by adapting your pace during the exercise.

    It is not mandatory to walk fast, but not too slow either, you are not doing your shopping. Your walking speed have to make you sweat a bit. Sweating is a good thing, it means you are eliminating toxins, this is an important phase for your body.

    The heart-lungs duet is loaded. Be careful not to be out of breathe, you need to have a good oxygenation for your body. The good indicator to find your rhythm is if you can still talk normally while walking. You need to be well hydrated too.

    WHICH MUSCLES ARE ESPECIALLY ACTIVE DURING HIKING?

    Obviously, hiking is a great activity to work on your buttocks! Especially if you decide to practise mountain hiking.

    The calves and the thighs are also working.

    Hiking is also a way to work on your abdominals and to improve your digestion as well as your breath during the effort, thanks to the movements of the diaphragm.

    Warning: You will need to be careful with your backpack, not to fill it too much and to wear it correctly, not to experience back aches. You will need to take it off from time to time, to rest your back and your shoulders and relax your back's muscles. All of this only to prevent back problems in the future as well.

    HOW CAN YOU WORK ON YOUR BODY PRACTISING HIKING?

    Hiking is a good sport activity for the whole body, working mostly on your legs. This is a good way to work on your legs' muscles, for your legs to get a natural aspect and not to seem too muscled or irregular.

    If you are walking regularly, about 3 times a week, the positive effects of hiking will be effective in time. The other upside of hiking and walking often is that you will be less lazy when you will need to go upstairs for something or another or to go buy groceries by foot. And more you practise, more you will notice the changes quickly.

    And last but not the least, hiking is a natural lymphatic drainage, ideal for a nice shape.

    WHAT ARE THE OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN PRACTISE WHEN YOU ARE HIKING?

    It is interesting to practise another fitness activity with hiking to have a real balance in your training and for your body.

    Of course, hiking is a sport on its own, like tennis or golf even if they are working on a particular side or parts of your body, but you will need to be more careful with your articulations of your lower body and with your spin and back, this is the reasons of the possible need of another activity, fitness usually.

    Gym, yoga or even swimming will help you stretch your body. You can also practise sports that will mostly stretch the upper body, like climbing, volleyball or badminton.

    Concerning yoga and gym, all the static and floor exercises that will relax and stretch the spin are interesting. Coiling and reeling of the spin, lateral stretches and soft twists for the back.

    It is also good and advised to stretch your body after a hot shower to unwind the muscles and to stretch them slowly. The muscles to stretch are the legs': front and back of the thighs, calves to prevent lactic acid stagnation.