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How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!)

Hiking can certainly be a lot of fun, especially if you love being outdoors and keeping active. However, it’s no secret that this adventurous hobby also requires a lot of preparation – and not just route planning.

While some trails can be tackled by beginners with little or no experience, others require a higher fitness level. Planning for these trips includes assessing your fitness level to ensure you’re in good shape before you set off.

We did a fair bit of hiking in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Italy our recent 2 month road-trip around Europe (and can you blame us?! Below is a photograph from one of our rest days when we were in Austria, just WOW! 😻). Planning on going hiking? Here are some tips on how to physically prepare for a hiking trip.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

1. Plansee, Austria. If you’re looking for untouched natural beauty, you’ll fall in love with Austria.

Plan before you set off!

Are you just starting out, and looking for something to “test the waters”? Maybe you’re a little more experienced, but looking to take things up a notch? Did you find your previous hiking trip a little too much, or perhaps a bit boring? 

Every hike is different, and the physical preparation will differ, too.

If you’re booking through an adventure travel company, you can always ask them what fitness level is required for the routes that interest you. They will often be able to help you assess if the trails of interest are suitable for you.

Know your fitness level ❤️

Assessing your fitness level before setting out on your first hike – or any hike, for that matter – is highly recommended. Not all days trekking will be the same, but that’s what makes it exciting!

If you regularly walk to work and back, play football on the weekends, and go to the gym three times per week, you’d be safe to class yourself as fit. More advanced trails are certainly on your radar, however, shouldn’t be underestimated.

Where a walk to the local chip shop is your primary form of exercise, you’ll need to better prepare your body!

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

2. The Dolomites, Italy were truly epic! The Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop is perfect for beginners.

Get some training under your belt 

The obvious way to train for a hike is to get out and walk as much as you can. Anywhere you can reach on foot is an option – so ditch the car in favour of a walk to the local supermarket. In fact, carrying some shopping bags back from the shops will help you, too, as it is likely you’ll need to carry heavy bags with your belongings while hiking.

If hitting the gym, you’ll find that many treadmills feature an incline setting. For most people, these are simply a way of increasing intensity and adding “variety” to otherwise boring cardio workouts. For others, this setting offers a great tool to prepare for real-world hiking adventures.

Most treadmills max out at around 15% incline. This is pretty good, but if you’re looking to hike up demanding hills and mountains, you’ll likely want to try out a dedicated incline trainer.

An incline trainer is the same as a treadmill, however, is designed with a much steeper running deck. With incline percentages up to 40%, these are perfect for increasing the stamina needed for steep treks and mountain climbing. 

Although not cheap, you can easily save yourself some money by comparing gym equipment prices before you buy an incline trainer.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

3. Little further up… Glacier summit shot @ Gornergrat, Switzerland – Feeling on top of the world!

Keep hydrated on your hike

With so many variables to consider, it’s impossible to produce a definitive list of things to do while on your vigorous walk. That said, water and food are things we can accurately estimate.

Before setting off, you’ll no doubt have map of the route you’re taking. You should work out how many miles you’ll walk and calculate how long this will take.

Regarding hydration, a good rule of thumb is to drink a litre of water for every two hours walking. If it’s a hot day, with lots of uphill climbing, this should be the minimum you shoot for.

Remember, the more water you carry, the heavier your bag will be. For this reason, it’s important to accurately estimate how much water to take, to ensure an optimal fitness level.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

4. Views of Matterhorn from Riffelsee, Switzerland (Yes, that’s the Toblerone mountain!!) 🐻

Re-assess your fitness level after the hike

No matter how well you initially assessed your fitness level, or how much you physically prepared your body, you will now know the reality of how fit you are. Did you smash it? Was it a walk in the park (excuse the pun) or maybe it was more physically demanding than you imagined?

Those who found their most recent hiking trip difficult might add weight training to their preparation for next time. If you found it less demanding, you can aim for something a little tougher while having a “feel” for what areas you might need to address to ensure you’re at the right fitness level to tackle it.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

5. One of the most jaw-dropping hikes I’ve ever done, the Pragser Wildsee loop in the Italian Alps

Last but not least…

Physical preparation is an important part of hiking. When booking or planning a hike, ask experienced hikers and tour company advisors about the required fitness level.

Once you’ve shortlisted suitable trails, pick exercises to help you reach the right level: walk to the local shops if you’re a beginner; train on an incline trainer if you’re more experienced; and lift weights if you feel your strength needs improvement.

In addition to preparing you for the hike, these exercises and training methods will also keep your body in great shape for everyday life, too.

2018-12-14T23:57:43+00:00 December 15, 2018|Travel|

3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Winter Break

Now that summer is officially over, the winter clothes seem to be stocking up in the clothing shops, and not forgetting those Christmas gift boxes which are most definitely starting to make appearances! So what better way to shake those summer blues away than to get planning for the perfect winter break.

Whether it be a week away in the beautiful alps with an adventure filled skiing getaway, or something a little more relaxing like some Christmas shopping in London, here I’ve put together some of my best tips for planning that perfect, well deserved break.

3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Winter Break | UK Lifestyle Blog

Get in early!

It goes without saying that winter breaks, and city breaks in specific get booked up pretty fast! That’s not to say that once everyone has snapped them up that’s it, but some of the best prices and deals will be made now and in the next couple of weeks. So getting your booking in early is key to a successful and money saving break!

When it comes to booking a hotel, think outside the box, some of the most well known options will most likely be the priciest, but with the rise of things like Air BnB make sure you do your research. Getting a fully serviced apartment as opposed to a commercially well known and popular hotel could be a great option.

Plan your trips

Whether it’s a few days in London, or a week in Paris, planning your trips is crucial. City breaks are so popular during the winter which means that tours and attractions can get booked up pretty quickly. Take Winter Wonderland as an example, if you’re wanting to do some of the biggest attractions there and you’ll be going in peak Christmas season you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your tickets booked to avoid disappointment.

Don’t leave it too late to pack for your trip either. Nothing ruins a trip like being freezing cold. Superdry have put together a list of winter warmers, and I’m truly in love! Maybe I can treat myself to the Everest one!? 😍

3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Winter Break | UK Lifestyle Blog
Provided by Superdry

Compare

It goes without saying, but if you’re looking into deals around winter, the best thing you can do is compare. Compare hotel/apartments on different websites and check to make sure that there aren’t any additional voucher codes you could get your hands on. If you’re going further a field, check whether it would be cheaper to do your flights and hotel separately, or whether a package works out a much better deal.

Wherever you plan on going, make sure you plan! City breaks across the winter period are popular, but they’re also one of my favourite things about this season. Where do you plan on going this year?

2018-12-03T23:36:29+00:00 December 3, 2018|Post, Travel|

3 Tips to Planning a Stress-Free Vacay with Your Girlfriends ❤️🙋

There’s nothing more exciting than booking a holiday with one or more of your friends. I should know, yesterday I paid the final deposit on a holiday to Jordan next month with my #1 girl. I’m super excited to explore Petra and get in the sunshine. Thinking of doing the same? Here’s some tip for planning a holiday with you friends to make the boring bit (the booking!) a smooth process:

3 Tips to Planning a Stress-Free Vacay with Your Girlfriends ❤️🙋 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Find A Service

Finding a service to help you arrange the vacation can often reduce the stress you might feel on vacation by about a factor of… well, let’s just say it’s a considerable percentage. Firms like Travelbag offer you full itinerary of a day or week out, and can help you view much more of an environment than you might have otherwise, or at least keep you stuck to your schedule.

No matter who you are, the development of a fantastic day out isn’t in the spur of the moment decision making, although that can be great too. Sometimes going along for the ride can help you focus only on the wonder of that you’re being shown, as this can prove thoroughly refreshing if you’re used to micromanaging absolutely everything from top to bottom.

Primaries, Secondaries & Optionals

The primary, secondary and optional activities you might schedule in the day can help you add weight to certain things you want to do, and also fit in smaller things as the day goes by. See a cafe you like? Well of course you might decide to try that instead of one you had already picked out.

I once heard someone say that treating the day like a video game can be a great idea (hear me out!). You have your main quest, your side quests, and maybe some extra optional ideas you’d like to explore. This helps you make the best use of your time without feeling strained in any direction.

Take It Easy

Clearly, you can also enjoy the world around you, and take things at your own pace if you’d really like to. Maybe schedule one or two days in which you have no obligations at all. This way you can simply explore and wander without worrying about missing that appointment, or this activity.

With this in mind, you have both an unhurried appreciation and also a sense of value, and that should make it much easier to enjoy each and every day you are lucky enough to spend abroad.

With these tips, and the willingness to allow yourself to relax, the daily possibility of your vacation shouldn’t turn into a difficulty.

2018-11-15T23:33:32+00:00 November 15, 2018|Travel|
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