Warm-up exercises for a hike
Essentially, outdoor activities such as hiking or trekking are sport. And for a sport to be healthy, any exercise asks for warm-up. Few minutes of morning workout before hiking can prevent you from pain and even save your vacation.
Exercises before hiking up to the mountains should warm up your ankles, feet, and calf muscles. So in the morning before you go for a hike, better to put your bare feet on a flat surface and exercise. This set is made for injury prevention, not for pain treatment. In case if you have an actual injury, it’s advised to consult with a doctor.
This article and warm-up program on video is prepared by a physiotherapist and outdoors lover Madara Valberga. If you need help to deal with pain or get ready for an adventure, Madara can give you professional help online. Her Instagram account: @madara.valberga_fizio
Why should you workout before the hike?
By warming up ankles, feet, and calf muscles you will increase blood flow to particular muscles which are quite important for hiking. It will make these body parts ready for upcoming work. In general, good hiking boots have ankle support, which protects your legs from stretching on trails. But there is another side of the coin: this passive protection can make your legs weaker, especially if you wear them often. Since your ankles do not walk in a natural way, they lose their abilities, which can cause trauma as a result. For example sprain or plantar fasciitis.
There’s a lot of receptors on feet and ankles that we are using during activities like running, jumping on rocks, and they need to be activated after a night’s sleep. During warmup, except receptors, you are also activating muscles, ligaments, and coordination of your body. In this way, you improve ankle and feet stability.
It’s normal if any part of your legs gets tired during these exercises. If you have any pain or injuries better to discuss it directly with a physiotherapist, who will create a personal program for you.
For more information about hiking, especially in Caucasus region, you can check other articles on our blog. Feel free to contact us for any inquiries on trekking in Georgia or join our small group adventure trips.