1) Hike Slow and Steady
It’s much easier for your body to hike at a slow pace, even if it’s a turtle-like pace, that you can maintain for miles of trails without having to stop for a long break to catch your breath. This is MUCH more efficient than hiking fast and taking more frequent and longer breaks.
If you do need to take a break and you’re doing a strenuous hike on a steep incline, try to keep the breaks short. On some really steep inclines, I’ll take ten small steps, then stop for a few breaths, then continue.
Once you get momentum going, it makes it much easier to go on hiking. You don’t want to break it by letting your breath return to normal, as then, when you start hiking again, you’ll have to create your momentum all over again.
2) Breathe Efficiently to Make it Easier to Go On Hiking
Most people inhale and exhale through their mouths while running, but that can be inefficient and lead to inefficient oxygen intake and make your hike seem even harder.
Instead, the best way to breathe while doing any form of intense cardio exercise, including hiking, is to inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale through your mouth. This increases oxygen to your muscles and reduces the build-up of carbon dioxide.
You also want to be a belly breather. Many of us only breathe from our chests, which makes us breathe shallower, meaning we’ll have to take more breaths, making our hike seem harder.
When you do stop for a short break, practice belly breathing while focusing on the awe-inspiring views for further motivation. Bonus points if you have an attitude of gratitude while doing it.
3) Change Your Focus
If you focus on how hard the hike is and how tired you are, to go on hiking, even if you’re an avid hiker. Instead, focus on the beautiful scenery or the fun you’re having.
And when you do catch yourself saying I’m never gonna make it. Practice reframing your thoughts into something more positive with these tips. You’ll be surprised at how much easier thinking positively makes your hike.
4)Take a Rest
While I do try to avoid taking rests while on a steep uphill for more than a few breaths when you do reach a plateau, take a few minutes to catch your breath, stretch a bit, enjoy the panoramic views and give yourself some positive words of encouragement.
You’ve got this! Find a way to make it a fun hike, even if it’s a challenging one. There are no mountains to conquer but lessons to be learned.
5) Hydrate and Take Some Electrolytes
Often when we feel tired, so be sure to drink plenty of water while hiking and bring enough with you in your bladder or water bottle. And again, take in the sweeping views. Your whole hiking journey should be enjoyable, not just when you reach your destination.
Don’t assume there will be water sources along the way unless you’ve done the hiking trail before. That’s a sure way to get outoff, and then you won’t be able to go on hiking.
I also recommend taking some electrolytes too. They’ll replace important minerals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium that you lose when you sweat.
6) Ensure That You Fuel Your Body Correctly and at the Right Times
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s especially true when you’re hiking. Check out our recommended hiking breakfasts. You also want to eat the right snacks and lunches.
And time it right. For example, don’t eat your lunch right before you have to climb a steep incline. If you’re hungry, have a small snack, but save your bigger lunch until after you’ve done most of the elevation. Otherwise, it will make your ascent seem harder.
7)Consider Turning Back
When you’re hiking, especially if you’re a beginner hiker, you need to know your limits. If you’ve tried the above techniques but are feeling faint or that you really can’t make it, consider going back.
Your safety is more important than reaching a mountain peak or beautiful waterfall. They’ll still be there for you to come back to another day.