The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare your body for the specific demands of exercise - in this case, hiking. Your goal is to loosen the muscles and joints by gradually raising your body temperature a few degrees and increasing the blood flow to the working muscles.
The best way to achieve this is simply to hike, but at a much slower pace than you plan to walk later in your workout.
Begin hiking at an easy, strolling pace for 7 - 10 minutes. When you sense your body warming up (your heart rate will increase, your fingers may begin to swell, you'll feel warmer), gradually increase your speed.
If you feel any stiffness or tightness, the best time to
stretch would be at the first water break. Ask your hiking guide for a few stretches, if you are unsure what to do.
When stretching early in the hike, move into the stretch slowly to a point of mild tension, and hold the stretch for only 10 - 20 seconds.
post hike stretching
The most important time to stretch is after you hike. Stretching at this time helps to return the muscle to its normal resting length, and can also reduce post exercise muscle soreness.
Use the following guidelines when stretching at the end of your hike.
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