While some people will tell you that the best way to increase your hiking stamina is to get out on nature trails and go on more hikes, this isn’t always an option. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do to make hiking a little easier. You should still go hiking whenever you can, but keep these other activities in mind when you can’t make it to any of your favorite trails.

Start a Run/Walk Program

Running and walking are great ways to build endurance even if you can’t make it out for a weekly hike. Going on jogs or walks around your neighborhood, or running or walking on a treadmill at the gym can help build up stamina. It’s also a great way to keep your stamina up when the weather isn’t suitable for hiking.

If you’re not used to running regularly, start by going on only two runs a week and adding in some longer walks when you have the time. Increase the length of your runs by about 10 percent every week to build up endurance, which can also help your overall fitness even if you are not an avid hiker. 

Begin Strength Training

People don’t often associate physical strength with hiking, but you can never underestimate how important it is during a long hike on an uneven trail. Deadlifts, squats, kettlebell exercises, and other strength training exercises can help increase your core muscles and legs’ strength and make your longer hikes a lot easier. You don’t need to do any heavy lifting, either; sticking to smaller weights that you know you can handle will be enough.

Workout More Often

So many people don’t stick to exercise plans because they don’t think they have the time for a workout. If you feel like you don’t have time to spend hours on your workout, you might find more time for more frequent, shorter workouts. Working out for less than an hour is still better than not working out at all, and you should have at least that much downtime every day. If a three-hour workout seems too much for you to fit into your schedule, try to find time for around four or five short workouts a week. It will make a difference, even if you don’t feel it right away