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Hike your way to a stronger body

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  • Written By: Kierston Mills
Hike your way to a stronger body

Wyoming—filled with wide open spaces and known for its beautiful outdoor scenery—is a place where many of its residents spend recreational time outside fishing, hiking, riding four-wheelers, and hunting. If you are a mountain athlete or are looking for new ways to switch up your fitness regiment, incorporating hiking may be perfect addition to boost cardio, work unused muscles, and torch fat!

Hiking, like strength training, is another form of weight bearing exercise and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. In addition to the total body workout, vitamin D from sunlight and the breathtaking views of hills and mountains make it that much better. Here are four ways to help you incorporate hiking into your life.

  1. Research nearby national forests or hiking trails. If hiking trails are not easily accessible to you, scout out hills in your community that would increase walking intensity. When Old Man Winter bears his face, consider putting on a pair of snowshoes to help hike in the snow and wear layers to keep warm! Or, opt to incline walk on a treadmill or use a Stairmaster.
  2. Practice safety and plan ahead. Hiking with a partner that has an equal or higher fitness level may not only motivate you to stick to a moderate pace, but will serve as someone who can call for help if an accident occurs. When hiking alone, always make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back, so someone knows where you are. And, be sure to carry a backpack with healthy snacks such as jerky, mixed nuts, whole fruit and protein bars, plenty of water, GPS, and matches in case of an emergency.
  3. Warm up. Hiking works various muscles of the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and core. Always be sure to dynamically warm up before a hike. Check out some of the warm up exercises proposed below.
  4. Post workout recovery is essential for rebuilding muscle. Whether you casually hike for 20-60 minutes or hunt for four hours, fueling your body is essential for repairing torn down muscle tissue. Nutritionists recommend at least 20 grams of protein and a quick digesting carbohydrate such as fruit.

To get in shape for a hike, check out his quick workout!
Pick your favorite hill to climb and go up and down it at a 70-80% Max Heart Rate. To figure this out, take the number 220 and subtract your age, and then multiply that by .7.

So, for example: 220-38=182. Multiplied by .7=127.4. So, the target heart rate for a 38 year old is 127 beats per minute at 70% max. Climb this hill for four to six sets, with two to four minutes of rest between those sets.

Warm Up Exercises (examples below)

  • Frankenstein Walk: two sets of 10 reps
  • Walking Lunge: two sets of 10 reps
  • Bodyweight Squat: two sets of 10 reps

Kierston Mills works at CCH Wellness as a Health Coach. Campbell County Health Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. At Wellness, you can receive daily community blood draws, lab tests, and health and wellness screenings in Gillette, Wyoming from 6-11 am Monday-Friday. To learn more about Wellness, please visit or call 307.688.8051.

CCH Frankenstein walk

CCH Walking Lunge

CCH Bodyweight Squat

  • Category: Wellness