Hiking is an outdoor activity that primarily relies on your feet, be it on flat surfaces, mountains, or streams. Although walking may seem simple, not everyone can endure a long hike. Here are some tips from experienced hikers on how to hike effectively and control excitement:
Sleep-Walking: Technique: This is a technique that mimics running, but with a natural gait. You walk with one eye partially closed, relying on the remaining light to see your path and surroundings. This state of mind puts you in a relaxed and almost sleeping state, enabling you to forget about fatigue and distractions.
Controlling Excitement: Athletes know how to control their excitement levels, and this is equally important for a long hike. Hikers should be mindful of their excitement and endurance levels, allocate time and energy wisely, to make their hike more enjoyable and beneficial.
Breathing Techniques: When hiking, especially uphill with a heavy load, breathing and walking techniques are crucial. Start by slowing down your pace and follow the rule of inhaling with each step and exhaling with the next. If you find yourself out of breath, shorten your stride and continue to alternate your breathing with each step. To improve your breathing, take deep breaths when inhaling and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
Rest Step: When hiking, make sure that your back foot is fully straight every time you take a step. This allows your legs to fully support your weight and rest, reducing the risk of muscle fatigue and cramping.
Technique for Climbing Hills: On a less steep gravel slope, make sure your shoe soles are touching the surface to maximize friction. On steeper slopes, use your legs to push your shoes onto the slope and find a foothold before moving up. When going downhill, use your heels to step down and create a foothold before continuing. You can also use rocks as a comfortable way to walk uphill or downhill, but make sure to step on their center of gravity to avoid twisting your ankle. With practice, you will be able to walk effortlessly on rocky terrain.