Get in shape this spring by climbing hills

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get in shape, woman ascending a hill, shrubbery on either side

Spring time often evokes thoughts of gardening, deep cleaning and getting outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine. It’s also often a time of year when people feel the urge to get in shape. If you’re wanting to improve your fitness routine or are trying to find a new style of exercise that is fairly easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time, try climbing hills!

Several years ago, I joined a group of approximately 15 other people and walked 100 miles from Annapolis, Maryland to Ocean City, Maryland over the span of seven days. We passed through Delaware in our travels, which was one of the flattest states I’ve ever seen. So, if you live in Delaware, I don’t know what to tell you about where to find some hills to climb! Hey! If you’re an entrepreneur, you might want to create an indoor workout center that has man-made hills in it for the people of Delaware! LOL

Hills can really help you get in shape

get in shape, woman in black shorts and sports bra climbing a steep hill

The benefits of climbing hills for exercise are many. The following list includes numerous results you can expect if you make hill-climbing a regular part of your fitness routine:

  • Tones the legs
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Sculpts the derriere
  • Builds physical endurance

You don’t have to devote an exorbitant amount of time to this task for it to have a positive effect. Spending 20 minutes climbing hills three to five days per week can help you get in shape in less time than you think!

Basic instructions for climbing hills

There’s not really a “right” or “wrong” way to climb hills. If your goal is to get in shape, however, you’ll want to keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Length should be about 100 meters
  • Bottom to top should take less than one minute
  • 5-minute warm-up time on flat ground first
  • Descent at a comfortable pace
  • At least five to eight reps
  • Flat-ground cool down

When you attack the hill, you should be breathing hard when your half-way to three quarters of the way up. Resist the urge to stop at the top or sit down. Instead, immediately turn and start back down the hill, walking at an easy pace — not too slow, not too fast. Take a few deep breaths at the bottom and attack the hill again! By the time you finish your reps, you should feel a bit fatigued yet accomplished. Always stretch and cool down when you’re done!

Indoor training can include climbing hills

woman with ponytail and earbuds on treadmill

If you own a treadmill or have stairs in your house, you can “climb hills” indoors, too! Most newer models of treadmill include adjustments for incline. Climbing stairs isn’t exactly the same as ascending a hill, but if you can’t get outdoors or find a natural hill in your area, stairs are another excellent option! Just be careful!

Use shorter strides and quicker steps to get in shape

Woman exercising with girl on her back

You might think that extending your stride and covering as much ground as possible to get up a hill is the best way to workout. If you really want to get in shape using hills, try to take quicker steps, shorten your stride and lean in from your hips while pumping your arms to get up the hill. You don’t want to merely “climb” the hill, you want to “power” up it.

Climbing hills is a fun way for the whole family to get in shape! If you have trouble starting new routines, you might want to try this idea Amy shared here on the Hot Mess Press a while back. Amy’s system only requires one minute of your time — literally! Perhaps you can work up to the point where you do one-minute workouts indoors, then climb hills outside several times per week!

DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant to give health advice. The Hot Mess Press is not responsible for any injuries that may occur if a person reads this post and puts the ideas contained herein into action.

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