Help! I Want To Go Hiking But I Don’t Know Where To Start…
This is something we hear a lot of people say. They tell us that they are keen to get started with hiking but simply don't know where to begin and what they need to learn. In truth, there's not a lot you need to learn when it comes to hiking, the main thing is just preparing your body mentally and physically for what could be a challenging event.
If you have never been hiking before, or indeed on a long walk, the best advice is to start small and work your way up. Walk around your local area for a bit just loosening your muscles and getting your body used to working harder. For those that sit in an office all day, it's understandable that the smallest amount of exercise can make some people stiff as a board, so it's important that you don’t overdo it to start with.
Once you have been walking around your local area, try power-walking. This means you'll be putting a bit more effort into the walk and making your body work harder than before. It doesn't mean you have to jog; it's simply walking with intent and purpose and training your brain to believe that you are capable and ready for walking long distances that you once weren't used to.
If you're nervous about doing this on your own, get your friends together and make a day of it. Aim for the slightly cooler days as opposed to the really sunny ones, as your body will have to work much harder in warmer weather and this isn't always easy for those just starting out with learning the basics of hiking. Rallying your friends together to go walking or power-walking will help you with confidence and make the exercise seem easier and more relaxed.
Once you've mastered the art of power-walking and training your body and mind to be able to handle a variety of walking situations, you should be able to manage a proper hike. It can take a few months of preparation, but once you go hiking, you're sure to find it an exhilarating experience. Don't aim too high to start with and gradually build up your strength and stamina. At the end of it all, you're sure to feel the hike was worth it.