When you start off a hike, you don’t intend for it to be cut short, but when your muscles won’t let you move another step forward you have to turn back.
Muscle fatigue is amongst the leading causes for hiking trips to be cut short. No matter how captivating the landscape may be on the trail, if your muscles are getting sore, you’re going to have to cut the hiking trip short!
Don’t want to risk cutting your trip short due to muscle fatigue? Follow these useful tips:
1. Eat Right
You’ve heard it before, you are what you eat. Hiking involves using your entire body for long periods of time. Failing to fuel your body prior to hiking will take a toll on your muscles and impact your energy levels.
As convenient as it may be to grab a McMuffin before your morning hike, it’s not smart! The meals you take before your hike should be packed with the nutrients you need to start your hike off right.
About half an hour before your hike, have a meal that is high in carbs and glucose which will provide you with sufficient energy on your trip. Going on a long trip? Grab a few energy bars to keep you replenished on the trail. Carbs are needed to regenerate tiring leg muscles so you’re going to need energy bars that are packed with carbs.
There’s a reason athletes spend so much time stretching before their game/race. People who work out regularly will let you know that it’s pointless to exercise without stretching because you need your muscle fibers to loosen in order for them to heal and expand. The same needs to happen when hiking.
To help your leg muscles handle the pain that comes from hiking long distances, stretching is a must! A quick search on the internet will reveal what stretches are most impactful on a hike. You can even take it up a notch and start doing yoga 3-4 weeks before your hiking to ensure you have all the flexibility and agility you need on the trail.
3. Take Shorter Strides
If your leg muscles are giving way on the trail, the easiest way to heal them is to take shorter strides. This is usually the go-to move for trail runners; it works for hikers and power-walkers as well.
By taking shorter strides, you reduce the pressure on your leg muscles and promote circulation.
4. Take Specialized Hiking Gear
Your hiking gear determines how the load you’re carrying on our back is distributed and the amount of pressure it puts on your joints and back muscles.
Specialized hiking gear is designed to keep backpackers comfortable on the trail. To avoid muscle fatigue, invest in backpacks that were made specifically for hiking instead of buying cheap dupes from department stores.
AarnUSA offers award-winning lightweight backpacks that provide plenty of space for your belongings. Their collection consists of daypacks, StrongLites, UltraLites, Hipbelts and more. Explore their collection online and purchase your new backpack today!