> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hiking For Beginners > 5 tips for managing fatigue while hiking
POSTED BY July 14, 2022

Whether you’re heading out for the day or embarking on a multi-day hiking trip, you need to be able to handle the required physical effort and go the distance once you’re underway! So, here are our 5 tips for managing fatigue while hiking.

1. Training

This is our number one tip! The ideal is to practice regular physical activity. The goal is to develop your endurance in order to be more resistant during the hike.

Endurance is essential for managing fatigue. Exercise for at least 40 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week to prepare your body for prolonged efforts.

If you lack stamina, choose a hike suited to your physical condition. Start with an easy hike and gradually increase the difficulty level as your body adjusts to the effort required.

Walkers walking along the Great Glen Way
Hiking along the Caledonian Canal, Great Glen Way

Also read our post: 15 Best Beginner Hikes In Ireland & UK For 2021

2. Find your rhythm

It is important to find your walking pace. If you feel tired along the way, slow down. Fatigue is often due to inappropriate pacing.

Start slowly to give your body time to adjust to walking. To manage fatigue while hiking, it is better to slow down rather than stop. By walking slower, you will continue to move forward longer and you will be less exhausted.

One thing you should absolutely not do: accelerate the pace to catch up with the group, then stop to catch your breath, then accelerate again.

West Highland Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Hiking the West Highland Way

Also read our post: Hiking For Beginners

3. Food and hydration

Before, during and after exercise, hydrate yourself! Vary the drinks: tea, soup, water, etc. And the hotter it is, the more you need to drink!

Proper hydration is important because with 2% liquid weight loss, you will lose 20% of your physical capacity.

Drinking will also prevent you from having muscle aches or heavy legs after the hike.

Eating well is also essential. Load up on carbohydratesproteins and good nutrients!

Bet on light and space-saving products to take in your bag. For the hike, take some snacks with you, such as granola bars.

In the evening at mealtime, focus on starchy foods (pasta, rice), proteins (meat), and green vegetables .

Take A Hike along the Dingle Way
Taking a break on the Dingle Way

Also read our article Hiking food: eat well while lightly!

4. Travel light

To better manage fatigue while hiking, it is also a good idea to pay attention to the load you are carrying.

Choose a light and good quality backpack.

Don’t burden yourself with unnecessary stuff – but don’t forget the essentials either!

Avoid taking hiking boots that are too heavy for easy hiking trails as they will strain your feet.

Do not take too many clothes in order to maintain freedom of movement.

Hillwalk Tours Kerry Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Windy Gap, Kerry Way

Also read our post: Hiking Equipment – Essential Hiking Gear

5. Stretching

Stretching will help rid your muscles of toxins. This will prevent you from having sore muscles.

Stretching also promotes physical relaxation, for better overall recovery.

If you suffer from muscle soreness, it is probably also because you did not drink enough water. Managing muscle fatigue requires good hydration along the way, but also after the hike!

Camino Frances with Hillwalk Tours (27)
Stretching poses on the Camino Frances

Also read our article: 6 tips to recover well after hiking

We hope that you found these 5 tips for managing fatigue while hiking helpful. If you’re interested in putting these into practice on your next hiking trip, just get in touch.