No matter what level we are at right now, we ALL had to take those very first steps and work our way up to greater distances and heights in our individual hiking journeys. In this post, we will be exploring ways to build up our hiking stamina, so we can ALL climb our very own personal “mountains” – whether it be a hill – or Mount Everest!
























 While we are preparing our bodies and our minds for those longer, steeper hiking trails, we must be patient with ourselves. We should make a practice to commend ourselves in each new goal we reach, but at the same time, try to push ourselves just a little bit more in our daily accomplishments.


The first step to building our hiking stamina is to start off with small walks around our neighborhoods or on short hiking trails, preferably a few times a week, when we are not on our “real hikes.” Try to increase our walking distance by about 10% on every walk. One major advantage in building our stamina would be to find an area to walk that features some small hills. Take these hills slow and steady, and gradually we will build our strength, endurance, and stamina.

There is one item that will tremendously help us tackle these walks/hikes, hills and all – trekking poles!! Please refer to my post on “Walking Stick, Hiking Pole, Or Trekking Poles – Finding The Perfect Fit For You!” for all the information you need on trekking poles. I will say here that they will definitely give our bodies a much better workout, as they further enable our core, arm, shoulder, and back muscles, along with our leg muscles, adding much more body strength as well as a lot more calories burned. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a pair of trekking poles to start off with – I bought my husband and myself 2 sets from Amazon for Christmas, and they cost under $25! The Amazon link for our trekking poles is below:

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


The next part of building our hiking stamina is to find some type of aerobic workout that focuses on building strength in our core and leg muscles. Personally, I absolutely LOVE Tae Bo! I just pop on one of the many Tae Bo workouts on YouTube. Even after the very first workout, you will feel your body growing stronger!

We should gradually increase our aerobic workouts up to 4 – 5 days per week, building up our endurance and our muscles!


Next, we need to work on our breathing techniques. We need to concentrate on pulling air deep into our lungs with our diaphragms a few times every day. In order to make sure that we are breathing correctly, we should breathe in through our noses, and place one hand on our stomachs. When we take in deep breaths, our chests should not move, but the hand on our stomachs should move out. Be sure to tighten those stomach muscles as we exhale!

Taking in deep breaths will help in preventing fatigue, as well as keeping us pushing along on the trails by providing more oxygen to our muscles.


Our last step in building up our hiking stamina is to practice mind control. Sometimes, a different outlook will help us to push ahead, enabling us to meet our hiking stamina goals in record time! We will have to get tough within our own minds, pushing ourselves in our aerobic workouts and walks. Challenge ourselves to push our bodies a little harder, encouraging ourselves to get to the top of that hill, or finding a longer, tougher aerobic workout. When we challenge our bodies to push harder, we are mentally preparing ourselves to leave our “comfort zone” and to reach new heights.


Just being aware that we have this power within ourselves to push our bodies farther, physically and mentally, will help us to improve our fitness level. We will then be preparing our bodies and minds to make it to the top of our own personal “mountains” sooner than we ever dreamed possible!


  1. Loved your article Nettie on building stamina for hiking. I must admit my physical health hasn’t been good over the covid period and it’s great to be encouraged to get out there and start simple and gradually build by challenging myself with just a little more each day. I had a look at the Tae Bo 8 minute workout and it made me tired just watching but then again I’m 60 not 16 anymore so I will have to plan better.

    Looking forward to climbing those hills. Great review.

    • Thank you for your kind comment on my post, Lily!!  I am very glad that it encouraged you, and I truly hope your physical health will improve very soon! 

      I have to admit that the Tae Bo workout is quite challenging – I used to do the 8 minute workout every day, but I am not in the best shape right now either due to growing lazy over the winter months . . .   During the past couple of months, I have been doing the Tae Bo 8 Minute Ab Workout.  It is a great core and arm workout, and involves no jumping around or kicking!!  That may be more to your liking – just a thought.  

       Yes, we do have to begin any new adventure with “baby steps”, but with just a little discipline, you will be climbing those hills in no time!!  I have faith in you!!  Most importantly, just enjoy spending some quality time in the fresh air and enjoying the beauty of nature!  I wish you the best!!


  2. Building up your stamina does take time and I am very aware of the fact that I have not been doing enough during the lockdown period. This is a great post to remind me that one only needs to take small steps to start, and even just walking around the neighbourhood is better than sitting on the couch. 

    I fully agree with you that it is often a case of mind over matter, and if you think you can do it, then you will be able to achieve it. Here’s to the next mountain.

    • Thank you very much for you comment on my post!  I believe this pandemic has made most of us just lock ourselves inside and basically shut down . . . With Spring well on it’s way, I, for one, am ready to break free, get outside and spend lots more time in nature!  Just hearing the birds singing and feeling the warmer temperatures is my ” mind over matter”  motivation  right now.  

      Enjoy your time in nature, and go conquer your mountains, my friend!!

  3. Thanks Nettie. This was really helpful. Unfortunately i dont have mountains or hills where i am. But, i particular find your breathing techniques and mind control suggestions fascinating. It would work for long distance work. I do love those.

  4. Thanks Nettie. This was really helpful. Unfortunately i don’t have mountains or hills where i am. But, i particular find your breathing techniques and mind control suggestions fascinating. But, It would work for long distance work. I do love those. Building up our endurance and our muscle through 4 -5 days of aerobic workouts per week as recommended could also help in preparing both mentally and physically to reach newer heights.

    • Hi diyerini! 

      Thank you for your comment on my post  I am very glad that I was able to offer some helpful  information to you with the breathing techniques and mind control.  These techniques will technically work on anything we set out to conquer – we just need to have our bodies and minds in the best shape possible, and synching together towards the goals we are striving to achieve.  If we really work at these techniques, there is NO LIMIT to what we will achieve, and what new heights we will be able to reach!!  I wish you the VERY BEST in reaching your newer heights!  Have an awesome weekend!!


  5. I have been wanting to get into better shape for a while now but I didn’t know where to start.  This is great information on how to begin the journey.  I’m going to start walking my neighborhood today and look into an online aerobics video.  You’ve been incredibly helpful!  Thank you for posting.

    • Hi Cynthia!

      Thank you for your kind comment!  I am very glad that you found some useful and inspiring information in this post, and I wish you the very best in your journey of getting into better shape!  With Spring fast approaching, hopefully this will give us ALL more inspiration to get into much better shape, and just enjoy some awesome time in Nature, exploring hiking trails and maybe even some cool camping spots in the months ahead . . .   Please keep me posted on your progress, and feel free to leave comments, suggestions, questions, and advice anytime!! 

      Have an awesome day!


  6. Thanks for this useful information.  You have covered this preparation in a very wholistic manner.

    I would never have thought of mentally preparing myself, but I now fully understand it’s importance.

    I was also interested in your paragraph on trekking poles.  I didn’t know that they in themselves could actually help me build my body.  I thought they would do the opposite, by reducing the workout I would get, so I am really interested in these.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Geoff!

      Thank you very much for your kind comment!  I am glad that you found some useful information in this post. 

      I am sorry it took so long to respond to your comment, but my husband and I have just returned from an incredible vacation to Florida.  We made a trip to Providence Canyon State Park, GA, and we definitely put our trekking poles to work there!  Yes Sir, they do help get your body in shape, and they truly saved the day going up and down lots of hills, as well as using the mud/sand baskets while hiking the wet canyon creek beds!  Please check out my brand new post,  “My Adventures At Providence Canyon State Park –  Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon”, and feel free to leave any comments, questions, suggestions, and advice!

       At times, preparing myself mentally is the hardest part of the “getting in shape” challenge – I guess it is due to being stuck in the house a lot more during the winter months.  Now that Spring will be here in just a week, it is time to get outside and take on all those awesome trails just waiting for us!

      Please keep me posted when you get your trekking poles, and how they work for you!  I am sure you will be impressed with them!

      Have a great day!


  7. This is such a lovely inspiring article on how to build up our hiking stamina. I have been a runner in my prime, but haven’t really been into hiking. 

    I have resolved to start small treks and will build towards longer ones in the future. You have given some great tips on starting slow and increasing the pace as time passes by.

    Thank u for this piece on hiking.



    • Hi Aps!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment!  I truly admire the fact that you enjoyed running – that is something that I could never seem to do very well – I was more of a slow, steady jogger!   :  )     

      I am glad that I have given you some inspiration to give hiking a try, and I hope you will enjoy the many adventures just waiting for you on the trails!  With your running background, you will be a very accomplished hiker in no time at all, and I wish you the very best in your new adventures!

      Have a great day!



Leave a Comment