While we always suggest exercising before any of our adventure trips, you may be wondering what that entails. Getting in shape for adventure travel is necessary, whether you’re tackling a level 1 or gearing up for level 5. With the right pre-trip routine, changes in elevation, steep climbs, or paddling will be a piece of cake! To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of some simple yet effective exercises that can be done at home and are guaranteed to enhance your travel experience.
Have you booked your adventure travel? Time to train!
Our women’s hiking and backpacking trips rated as 1 or 2 are suitable for anyone who is healthy, generally active and has no significant mobility limitations. Doing simple exercises like these, along with a personalized training plan will ensure the best possible experience for your trip! Even if you’re looking for a physical challenge, being in shape to take on that challenge is the best way to enjoy your adventure.
Get ready for your next adventure trip with these at-home exercises.
1. Single Stairs Workout
This exercise is super simple and can be done by anyone with healthy knees and hips. Make sure to keep a consistent pace, and to stretch before starting the exercise. Simply walk up and down the stairs for the allotted time listed below. You can also move at a faster pace for a more difficult workout.
Beginners: 5-15 minutes
Intermediate: 20-30 minutes
Advanced: 30+ minutes
2. Use the incline feature on a treadmill to simulate uphill hiking
If you own a treadmill or have access to one, they’re the perfect at-home tool for simulating hiking. This is a great exercise if you’re preparing for one of our women’s backpacking trips. Most trails don’t go above a 10% incline (also known as “grade”). Therefore, you should be aiming for a range of walking at an 8%-12% incline to prepare for the real thing. Walking at an increased incline can prepare you for whatever types of hikes you’ll be accomplishing on your trip. It’s also great for your leg muscles and can be done as cardio. For a more advanced workout, you can also run at an incline, but make sure this is done properly to avoid injury.
3. Ankle Inversion Exercise
This is a great way to prepare your ankles for any type of movement, but it’s especially helpful for long hikes with significant impact. Anyone preparing for a women’s hiking trip should incorporate this exercise into their daily training or warm-up. To do this exercise, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out, and wrap a band around the foot you want to work on first (any long, flexible item can be used, such as a scarf). Next, tie the other end of the band around something sturdy positioned outside of the leg, or pull the band in the opposite direction with your hand. Perform inversion by keeping the lower leg still and trying to point the toes across to the other leg.
4. Single Leg Balance Exercise
This exercise is a great way to enhance your balance and doesn’t require any equipment. It also strengthens your ankles and works your calf muscles. Make sure to perform this in an open space, and have a table or chair nearby, just in case it gets a bit wobbly!
Begin the exercise by standing on a flat surface with your arms stretched out to your sides as if making the letter “T”. Then, lift your right leg off the floor and bend at the knee. If you’re having trouble, use one hand to hold on to a chair or place your hand on the wall. While standing on your left leg, keep that knee straight and try to hold your balance for 30-60 seconds. After, switch to the other leg and repeat this exercise. Do this 3 times, alternating between each leg. Try to stand without support and for longer periods of time. Focusing on an object can also help while doing this movement. Before you know it, you’ll be a balancing pro!
5. High Intensity Stair Workout Bursts
This exercise can be seen as an extension of the Single Stair Workout. You can perform the Single Stair Workout as a warm-up for 10-15 minutes using the single or double technique.
Then, run up the stairs two at a time and run down as though you were late to an appointment. This exercise is great for a variety of reasons. You’ll get the benefits of cardio whilst also preparing your muscles for high-intensity movement.
Intermediate: 50-75% speed/effort for 15-60 seconds. Rest 1.5 minutes between efforts. Repeat 5-10 times.
Advanced: 75-100% speed/effort for 60+ seconds. Rest 1-1.5 minutes between efforts. Repeat 8-15 times depending on how long your effort intervals last.
Get fit for the right reasons - adventure awaits
While these exercises seem simple, they can make a huge difference in being prepared for adventure travel. Why worry about things like soreness when you’ve got so much to explore? Being “fit” doesn’t have to be about looking a certain way or trying to meet someone else’s standards. Being “fit” is something you should do for yourself. And if getting into shape is something that will make you happy or perhaps prepare you for your next adventure, then go for it!
These exercises can be performed in any order and are especially great when added to a pre-existing training plan. Need more guidance? Our friends at Fit for Trips would be happy to help!