How do you start out of shape when hiking?

woman hiking on mountain

Starting out on a hiking journey can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re out of shape. But don’t let that stop you from pursuing a new, healthy and adventurous hobby! With the right attitude and preparation, anyone can start hiking and work their way up to more challenging trails.

Walking or Hiking in Your Neighborhood
One of the best ways to start your hiking journey is by simply walking in your neighborhood or local park. Find a flat trail or a path with a slight incline, and start with a short walk of 20 to 30 minutes, gradually increasing the duration as you build up your endurance. This will help you get used to the physical demands of hiking and build your stamina and strength.

Start with Shorter Hikes
Once you feel comfortable with walking or hiking in your neighborhood, start looking for short trails to hike. This can be a local nature trail, a park or a nearby forest with easy trails. Aim for a hike that takes less than two hours and has a moderate incline. This will help you get used to hiking in a more natural environment and help you gain confidence on the trails.

Bring a Friend
Hiking with a friend can make the experience more enjoyable and motivating. Having someone to hike with can also help you push yourself and make it easier to stick to your routine. Plus, hiking with a friend is always safer than hiking alone, especially if you’re just starting out.

Proper Gear
Having the right gear can make a huge difference in your hiking experience. A good pair of hiking shoes, comfortable clothing and a hydration pack are essential for a successful hike. Investing in a good quality hiking backpack, hiking poles and a first-aid kit can also make your experience more comfortable and safer.

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial for any outdoor activity, but especially for hiking. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your hike. You can also bring water bottles or a hydration pack to make sure you stay hydrated on the trail.

Take Your Time
Starting out on a hiking journey is all about taking things slow and steady. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard, especially when you’re just starting out. Take breaks as needed and enjoy the scenery. Hiking should be a fun and enjoyable experience, not a race.

Starting out on a hiking journey when you’re out of shape may seem intimidating, but with the right attitude, preparation and support, anyone can start hiking and work their way up to more challenging trails. Walking or hiking in your neighborhood, starting with shorter hikes, hiking with a friend, having the right gear, staying hydrated and taking your time are all key elements for a successful and enjoyable hiking experience.

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