Hiking and running are great forms of exercise. These activities challenge nearly every muscle in the lower body and core as well as the cardiovascular system. They also require very little equipment and can be a great way to spend time with friends and family all while getting some exercise in!
However, as we age it is very common to experience ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain during and after running or hiking. One of the main reasons runners and hikers start to experience pain with these activities is because there is a lack of strengthening and mobility and/or flexibility. Although these activities challenge the lower body and core muscles, they don’t necessarily strengthen them enough to support the demand of the activity. Keeping up with your flexibility and mobility are just as important as strengthening to maintain an essential range of motion in the hip, knee and ankle for the range of motion necessary to achieve proper form and muscle activation.
Two other common causes of pain with hiking and running are training inconsistency and improper or worn-out footwear. To be able to run or hike without pain afterward, gradually build your endurance. Consistency is oftentimes more important for running due to its high-impact nature and speed. When it comes to footwear, that’s a topic in and of itself! Here’s a deeper dive on footwear.
These activities are more similar than you might think when it comes to the skill, strength, and mobility/flexibility required. There are some obvious differences as well, but in general, the training for each of these activities is the same.
If hiking or running are part of your plans, here are some FITFOREVER workouts I recommend that include all of the elements above. You can search for them under the Exercise tab both in the app and on the website.
- Quicktone: Lower Body
- Ankle Mobility: All Levels
- Hip Flexor Flexor Lengthening : All Levels
- Hip Stability: All Levels
- Core and Lower Body: Advanced 1
- Stretch Stability: All Levels
Not yet a FITFOREVER member but want to improve your strength, mobility, flexibility and balance to enhance your performance while running or hiking? Click here to start a free trial!
~ Blaire Brown, PT, DPT, OCS, SST,
FITFOREVER Expert Trainer