Are Your Knees Fit To Hike?

Are Your Knees Fit To Hike?

So many people these days are choosing to have active holidays.

And the popularity of hikes and treks is growing, it’s a great way to travel and see the world.

Preparing for a big hike/trek usually includes a fitness program of some sort and yes, it definitely should include lots of walking.

But walking alone won’t prepare your body for the ups and downs you’ll potentially encounter. Strength, flexibility and balance should be the foundation of a hiker’s fitness program.

And of course, this is what Pilates provides!

Now the biggest issue with hiking and your knees isn’t the uphill climbs, but the downhill descents.

When you climb a hill, there is a lot of muscle activation, strength needed to haul your body up against gravity. So all you need to do is get your muscles strong enough to do that, maintain your flexibility and you’ll be ready to go.

Most fitness programs focus on this type of strength.

But going downhill, you’re moving with gravity, and your muscles need to act as a “brake” to stop you from falling down the hill.

They need a very specific type of strength to do this, and it’s not a type of strength that most people train.

What could potentially happen if your muscles aren’t trained for downhill walking, is that the knees and possibly your hips/ankles or lower back end up having to be the “brake”.

This puts an enormous amount of force through the joint/s and could lead to a constant ache, which could lead to a more acute injury/issue.

It can also increase the potential for you to lose your balance and fall, which is not what anyone wants on a holiday!

Pilates is sooo built to create the specific type of strength, flexibility and mobility needed to handle walking or even running downhill, and equips you with the knowledge of how to maintain your flexibility while your away.

It should be the foundation of any walking/backpacking fitness program to prevent issues and injuries from detracting from an amazing travel experience.

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