I was lucky enough to go up to the Lake District for a week.  Whilst there, we decided to attempt a hike. Up the tallest peak in England, and the 3rd tallest in the UK, Scafell Pike.  Standing at 978 metres above sea level, it is a fair hike up and down. It gave me ample time to think about tips I would provide for others attempting any sort of hike, wherever you are.

Physically be prepared for the climb

There are two parts to every climb.  Even though descending a mountain may seem easier, physically and psychologically, it still requires strong musculature.  To slow yourself down and to stop you breaking into a run, your muscle needs to eccentrically contract (i.e., it lengthens as it contracts). It still contracts, just differently.  This means that you should workout all muscles of your legs to mimic your work rate in the moment.

Physically be prepared

Food for energy

Food for energy

Make sure to bring enough food to last the journey.  Your body needs energy to perform well throughout the day. A hike is going to require a lot more energy.   So, make sure to pack a good lunch, including snacks for the journey up and down.

Prepare for the worst 

Prepare for the worst

Even though it doesn’t seem likely, hiking can be quite dangerous if you’re not careful.  Pack a few pieces of emergency equipment, including sprays, bandages and plasters.

Plan your journey

Plan your route

‘Winging it’ and walking in a general direction may lead you a completely wrong way and add hours on to your walk, increasing the likelihood that something will go wrong.  If you take a wrong turn, you may have to experience terrain which you are not ready for which increases the chance of injury (such as ankle sprains).

Plan a recovery period

As with any sporting event or extreme physical activity, your body and muscles require time to repair themselves.  Prepare at least the rest of the day following a hike to just sit down and relax.

Plan a recovery period

If you need help planning a routine in preparation for a hike, or need help recovering from a hiking injury, get in touch with us at Amanda Marsh Physiotherapy to see how we can help!

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