How to Prepare for Hiking

Walking is an exercise open to anyone who is physically healthy and has no joint problems.

Among aerobic exercises, walking is without a doubt the one that has the most qualities, as well as being the safest from a cardiovascular and orthopedic point of view.

Walking is a surprisingly effective way to lose weight and tone your body.

Walking is a no-cost physical activity that can be performed almost anywhere. Whether it’s on the street, in parks, on the beach, in the countryside, on athletic tracks, in gyms, or in the indoor area of large condominiums; really anywhere will do for a good walk.


  • Improves circulation and heart activity, decreasing heart problems.
  • Reduces localized fat.
  • Combats bad cholesterol, increases bone density.
  • It favors the control of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
  • Reduces postural and articular imbalances.
  • Strengthens the immune, nervous, and respiratory systems.
    Provides physical and emotional well-being.


The decision to walk or do any physical activity must be accompanied by some care, in order to preserve health and get the most out of the results that can be achieved:

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Stretching before and after walking.
  • Walk in flat places or on gentle slopes.
  • Keep your torso straight.
  • Keep shoulders and neck relaxed.
  • Keep hips, knees, and feet aligned.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Start the stride with the heel, then support the ball of the foot, and lastly the toes.
  • Push the body forward, using the glutes and the muscles in the back of the legs.
  • Wear appropriate walking shoes with flexible soles and a cushioning system.
  • Hydrate your body by drinking water before, during, and after exercise.
  • If possible, keep a fixed schedule for your walks. The body adapts better.
  • Always avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Walk regularly 5 to 6 times a week.
  • At any sign of pain, cramping, shortness of breath, or extreme fatigue, stop walking immediately.

Warming up

The warm-up, which should be performed before and after the walk, basically consists of stretching and muscle resistance exercises.

Some exercises that should be performed during the warm-up, standing up, always to one side and to the other, when appropriate:

  • Hold one of the feet against the buttocks, stretching the front part of the thigh.
  • Bring your torso forward, as if you were to put your hands on the ground, stretching the back of your thighs, legs, and spine.
  • Extend your arms in front of you, interlacing your fingers and curving your back.
  • Pass the arms behind the body, crossing the fingers and stretching the chest.
  • Pull the neck by stretching it to one side and to the other.
  • Rotate the head to one side and then to the other side.
  • Lift the arm up and to the side, so as to lengthen the side of the body.
  • Pull one of your arms back, holding it by the elbow, in order to lengthen the triceps.
  • Pass one arm across the front of the body and, with the hand of the other arm, pull the elbow and arm in order to lengthen the shoulder.

Walk Duration

The duration of the walk can vary from 30 to 60 minutes, not considering the warm-up and cool-down phases.

When walking, the stride should not be intense and intolerable, nor so light that it does not stimulate breathing. The ideal intensity is that which makes it possible to hold a conversation without breathlessness or discomfort.

Suggested Program

#130 minutes3 times/week
#240 minutes3 times/week
#345 minutes4 times/week
#450 minutes5 times/week

Heart Rate

The optimal heart rate for a walk should be calculated using the formula: 220 – age = total heart rate (100%).

Always respect your body’s limits, ideally using a heart rate monitor or a heart rate monitor. The physical activity should be done over a long period of time, and the pace of the walk should increase according to the progress of physical endurance.

If you are a beginner, keep your heart rate between 60% and 75% of your maximum heart rate, but if you are already in good physical condition you can work at 60% and 90% of your maximum heart rate.


Before starting any physical activity, a medical evaluation is necessary to rule out possible health risks. Ideally, in addition to the conventional clinical examination, an electrocardiogram should be performed to evaluate the cardiovascular conditions, the level of exercise tolerance, and the electrocardiographic response to exercise.

See a doctor if, after walking, you notice any symptoms such as dizziness, excessive fatigue, heavy sweating, irregular heartbeat, severe shortness of breath, or chest pain.