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Movements and Exercises to Prepare You for Hiking

Hiking offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, explore scenic landscapes, and challenge both body and mind. Whether you’re embarking on a leisurely day hike or tackling a multi-day trek, proper preparation is essential for an enjoyable and safe experience. With numerous local trails such as Cloverdale’s Tynehead Regional Park, preparing properly can make your hiking experience even more enjoyable. Conditioning your body through specific movements and exercises can significantly enhance your hiking performance, minimize the risk of injury, and maximize your enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Building cardiovascular endurance is crucial for sustaining energy levels during long hikes and tackling steep inclines. While hiking is a fantastic way to explore nature, incorporating aquatic exercises can offer complementary benefits. Aquatic exercise can enhance your cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, making your hiking experience even more rewarding. Incorporate activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, or stair climbing into your routine to strengthen your heart and lungs while improving overall stamina. Take advantage of the Cloverdale Greenway to engage in brisk walking or cycling, a perfect setting to build your endurance in the heart of our community. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week, gradually increasing the duration and intensity over time.

Strength Training

Strong muscles are key for navigating challenging terrain and carrying a backpack comfortably. In addition to gym-based strength training, physiotherapy focused on strength and conditioning can further enhance your physical preparedness for hiking. This specialized approach helps target and improve the specific muscle groups crucial for navigating challenging terrains. Focus on exercises that target the major muscle groups involved in hiking, including squats, lunges, step-ups, calf raises, planks, push-ups, and rows. Consider utilizing facilities at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre, where you can perform these exercises with equipment designed to help you build strength effectively. Strength training enhances stability, reduces fatigue, and helps prevent injuries on the trail. Aim for 2-3 strength training sessions per week, incorporating 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise.

Flexibility and Mobility

Maintaining flexibility in your muscles and joints is essential for preventing strains and optimizing your range of motion. Physiotherapy offers numerous benefits that can aid in your hiking preparations, particularly in improving flexibility, balance, and overall physical resilience. Incorporate stretching exercises for the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and shoulders into your routine. Consider practices like Yoga or Pilates to improve flexibility, balance, and core strength, enhancing your overall hiking performance. Join a local yoga class at the Cloverdale Yoga Studio to enhance your flexibility and core strength in a community-focused environment. Aim for flexibility and mobility sessions 2-3 times per week, spending 10-15 minutes on stretches after your workouts or as a separate session.

Balance and Stability

Hiking often involves navigating uneven terrain and challenging obstacles, making balance and stability critical skills. Incorporate exercises such as single-leg stands, balance board exercises, stability ball exercises, and specific balance challenges like slacklining to improve your balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. Dedicate 10-15 minutes to balance and stability exercises during your workout sessions, aiming for 2-3 sessions per week. Chiropractic care can be a valuable addition to your hiking preparation, helping to ensure your spine and joints are properly aligned and functioning, which is vital when carrying a backpack and tackling uneven terrain.

Specific Hiking Preparation

Simulate hiking conditions by incorporating load carriage (backpack training) and uphill or downhill walking into your routine. For those seeking to optimize their physical capabilities through a deeper understanding of body mechanics, exploring clinical kinesiology in Cloverdale can be a great way to support your hiking preparations. For those looking to practice with real elevation, the nearby trails in Tynehead Regional Park offer both uphill and downhill paths that simulate typical hiking conditions. Gradually increase the weight in your backpack and the intensity of your hikes to prepare your body for the demands of carrying gear and navigating elevation changes. Practice proper hiking techniques, such as using trekking poles and maintaining a steady pace, to enhance efficiency and reduce strain on your body. Aim for 1-2 sessions of load carriage and hill or stair climbing per week, starting with shorter sessions and gradually increasing the duration and intensity.

Rest and Recovery

Allow adequate time for rest and recovery between workouts to prevent overtraining and promote muscle repair and growth. Listen to your body and prioritize sleep, hydration, and nutrition to support your hiking preparation efforts. Ensure you have at least one rest day per week and adjust your training as needed based on how you feel.


Preparing your body for hiking involves a comprehensive approach that addresses cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, balance, and specific hiking skills. By incorporating these movements and exercises into your training routine, you can enhance your hiking performance, reduce the risk of injury, and fully enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. Cloverdale’s scenic landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for your training, making it easier than ever to prepare for your hiking adventures right at your doorstep. Remember to start slowly, gradually increase intensity, and listen to your body’s signals throughout your training journey. With proper preparation and conditioning, you’ll be ready to tackle any trail with confidence and resilience.

As you prepare for your next hiking adventure, remember that conditioning your body is just one part of the equation. To further enhance your performance and ensure a well-rounded approach to your physical health, consider integrating professional physiotherapy into your routine. If you’re looking for Physiotherapy in Cloverdale, visit our team at Clover Hills Rehabilitation for expert guidance and services that can help you achieve peak condition and tackle any trail with confidence. Whether you’re dealing with a previous injury or just looking to enhance your overall physical fitness, our physiotherapy services in Cloverdale are here to support every step of your journey.

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