So you want your hikes, bikes, and paddles to be breathtakingly beautiful not breath-taking, right? We do to! At AGC we aim to find a trip that 'fits' you. But if you don't feel that you are 'fit' enough for a trip – let's not use that as an excuse to delay signing-up; instead lets use it as motivational tool to train for a trip. Below are three keys components to help you improve your fitness level and train for an adventure travel vacation.
#1 Cardio – gradually increasing the duration and intensity level of your cardio routine is a great way to improve your fitness level. If you are completely sedentary aim for 3 days of walking 20-30 minutes each day. If you are already active increase intensity by using elevation (hills outside or incline on a treadmill) or mix walking and running. Carrying a backpack full of books or weights is another way to increase intensity. Lengthening each cardio session by approximately 10 minutes every week is a reasonable goal that will help prevent injuries and over-training. It is recommended to do cardio 5 days per week for 30 -60 minutes (this can be done in multiple 10-15 minute sessions through the day).
#2 Core – a strong core contributes to healthy knees, a good sense of balance, and a healthy back. Your core includes your abdominal muscles, obliques, hamstrings, and lower back. Core exercises include those done in a pilates or power/flow yoga class (an inexpensive option for pilates and yoga routines is to rent DVDs from the library). Crunches, resistance ball exercises, planks (side planks too) are just a few core strengthening options. As for frequency, abdominals, specifically, are a unique muscle group that can be worked everyday (unlike muscles groups such as biceps or triceps that need rest days in between workouts) – so don't hesitate to work your abs daily.
#3 Toning – resistance training is very important for women and often overlooked. The more muscle mass one has, the more calories she will burn through out the day. Lifting heavy weights is not the only option for resistance training. Often high repetitions of movements done with light or no weights can create a level of muscle fatigue that leads to muscle toning. These include lunges, squats, shoulder presses or tricep dips off a chair. It is recommended to do resistance training 2-3 days per week, working each muscle with 2-3 different exercises within the week.
There are a lot of reasons, that may keep us from signing-up for an adventure travel vacation, some of those are out our control (money, time, family responsibilities). But our fitness level is within our control! Many women are apprehensive about their fitness level, but letting that stand in between you and an AGC trip is not necessary. Don't delay – turn that 'hurdle' into an achievable fitness goal.