It’s been over a year now, and pandemic burnout is real. We’ve spent so much time on our devices and in our local bubbles, that we need something big to kick our butts and get us out of this funk. That’s why you need travel, right now. Taking on a difficult physical challenge is the perfect way to get back on track. It’s cathartic, novel, and an excuse to break out of the daily humdrum we’ve become accustomed to. A true physical challenge is invigorating for the body and the mind; something we all need after a year like this.
Getting back out into the world to take on new challenges and goals is something we’ve all been yearning for. But the actual how is going to look different for everyone. Maybe it’s getting back into adventure travel, or perhaps taking part in one of our women’s hiking trips. But maybe it’s something completely different. It could be a marathon or a new sport or exercise class you’ve never tried before.
So why should you choose a physical challenge as your breakthrough moment? Let us break it down.
Why you need a physical challenge
Break free from a standstill year
We’ve all experienced some form of slump due to the state of the world as of late. It feels like everything has been paused. Maybe you had grand plans for this “downtime” and didn’t get a chance to follow through with them. If you’ve experienced stagnancy in your day-to-day activities, maybe taking on a new physical challenge is the perfect antidote.
How does a hardcore, full-body adventure sound? Getting out of your head and into your body is a great way to shake off the doldrums of lockdown, and set yourself up for a satisfying experience you can feel proud of.
Women’s adventure travel is an easy way to break out of the standstill you’ve been stuck in, and push yourself to new limits! Sometimes the only way to shake things up is to choose to do something dramatic.
Give yourself a reward
Your baseline stress levels have probably been at an all-time high. You’ve possibly had a rollercoaster of emotions hit you without much warning, and your life has dramatically changed. But guess what? You’re still here. You have come so far. It’s time to give yourself a pat on the back for all the things you’ve had to overcome.
If you don’t see a physical challenge as a “reward”, think of it as a bucket list item you can check off! A physical challenge doesn’t need to be an overwhelming fitness endeavor; it can be endeavoring to try an interesting vacation, like a women's slackpacking trip.
Get into shape
You’re not alone if you let your fitness routine fall by the wayside. We’re just going to put this out there: you get a pass for last year - we all do. There are probably one hundred and one reasons why you may have put off your fitness goals, and to be honest, you don’t need any excuses. Give yourself a little grace, and enough space to transition back to a new normal. But if you’re ready to turn up your game and set that personal record, 2021 is the year for you!
Especially in times of stress, the best thing we can do for our body is to kick it into gear and get those endorphins pumping. Getting “into shape” doesn’t have to mean developing washboard abs (working out probably isn’t your full-time job) or running a marathon twice a month. Getting “into shape” can be getting into a comfortable cadence with fitness and movement. It can be a 20-minute walk before work every day, or a weekend hike with friends.
But how can you set new goals that still challenge you physically? Maybe it has to do with trying new things, like a new gym or an outdoor yoga class. Or maybe you’re breaking new trails, or adding more miles on old trails. Women’s adventure travel is a great way to take on a fun, new, exciting physical challenge! The best trips for women are the ones that speak to their needs and goals, especially when it comes to physically challenging endeavors.
Where you are now and where you want to go in terms of fitness can shape your next trip or inspire your goals; it’s up to you.
How to tackle a physical challenge - and succeed
Start small and build up
The best thing you can do for yourself is ease into a challenge like this. If you have dreams of through-hiking the Appalachian Trail, great! But before you tackle that, start with baby steps. Beginning your journey with some sort of structured reentry can help give you the skills and the discipline to work towards your loftier goals.
Start small and gradually add on. Hiking once a week and gradually building mileage and elevation gain will help your endurance. Throw on a light pack for day one, and slowly put things in your bag until you reach your max (but not too much weight; lightweight is the way to go!)
Having a structured fitness program is a great way to build strength, endurance, and overall capacity in really specific ways. If you have a trip in mind that’s a little outside your comfort zone but are fired up to be able to do it, start training! Even if the trip isn’t until next year, it never hurts to get in the habit of pushing yourself.
Define your personal goals
Fitness means something a little different to everyone. You don’t have to be an Ironman Triathlete to be physically fit!
What are your reasons for taking on a new physical challenge? Is it to try something you’ve never done before, like a week-long kayak vacation? Or maybe you want to take on the added challenge of exploring a foreign land, and the physical aspect of an adventure in another country is inspiring you. Whatever your reasons, make sure they resonate with you. If you’re not intrinsically motivated to take on a new challenge, you probably will have a hard time following through.
Choose adventure travel
This is a great option for women looking for a little bit of that structured reentry. Adventure travel gives you an end goal; something tangible to be working towards, and a way to prove you made it. Not only will you be surrounded by women supporting you to reach that goal, but you’ll have the AGC office team sending you support as the trip gets closer!
You’ll get fitness tips and training advice specific to the trip you choose, and with the trip in the books, a reason to stick to that workout schedule.
Women's backpacking trips are a wonderful way to combine a fun, physical challenge with the satisfaction and thrill of adventure travel, and we have a variety of options depending on your fitness goal, experience, and location interests.
Another way to ease into a physical challenge is to explore the world of slackpacking. You’ll pack in major mileage each day but have the chance to wind down in a comfortable bed each night. Each time you plant your foot on the trail, you’re one step closer to a night of much-needed relaxation.
Women only tours that’ll get your heart pumpin’
Of course, we want to highlight some of the most exciting adventures in our repertoire that fit the “physical challenge” bill for all kinds of women. Hiking trips, kayaking adventures, and multisport vacations are all options, it just depends on what you’re looking for!
Slackpacking & Backpacking
This level 4 adventure is sure to challenge you, with mileage ranging between 7 and 13.5 miles for 5 days in a row. But the beauty of slackpacking is you get to rest your head on a nice comfy pillow each night and recharge for the next day of invigorating hiking. You’ll hike over 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail, covering some of the most infamous terrains and hitting the best landmarks along the way. The opportunity to hike the AT has a mythic status for many, so it’s an added bonus to helping you attain your goals for a physically challenging adventure.
Do you want to explore the imposing peaks of Medicine Bow, Wyoming on your own two feet? Take your challenging adventure into the mountains with this backpacking adventure. This trip is rated a 4 and is appropriate for women in strong hiking condition who want to refine backpacking skills in a spectacular alpine setting. While you will be carrying a 30-pound pack on a trail where there are some sustained ascents and descents, the mileage is quite moderate to allow time to acclimatize to the high elevation and practice skills.
If you’re looking for a little bit of variety, Adventures in the Adirondacks is for you. This multisport adventure is a Level 3, and brings the challenge of hiking and kayaking. That means you’ll have to engage your full body, not just your legs. This trip runs after the summer crowds have departed, and offers invigorating weather and brilliant foliage. It’s the perfect balance of active and relaxing, making it a great trip for women getting back into a workout routine.
Taking on a canoe trip can be an intense physical challenge, especially if you’re not used to paddling. This backcountry canoeing trip has you portaging gear and camping in Minnesota’s magical woods. It’s physically demanding, but you also get the chance to really get out of your head and revel in the peace and quiet of the pristine lakes. You’ll learn and hone in on your wilderness skills, and strengthen your paddling muscles. Beginning canoeists are offered the training they need to build new skills with confidence, while more experienced paddlers have ample opportunity to improve their techniques and learn new wilderness living and traveling skills. This adventure truly meets you where you are, and lets you set your own goals.
The challenge of this trip is two-fold: an international experience and a physically demanding trek. Machu Picchu combines the enticing magic of exploring a foreign destination and the dynamic experience of trekking across a foreign land. Navigating the lively cultures of Peru adds a layer of uncertainty and excitement to your challenging venture abroad.
Get your trekking boots, because Guatemala brings exciting new terrain, colorful culture, and views you can only get abroad! This level 4 trip is ideal for women looking for a physical challenge with an added international spice - and we’re not just talking about the food. The epic hike to Pacaya Volcano is only a warm-up for a multi-day volcano trek. The mileage ranges from 7 - 9 miles a day, with altitudes peaking at 9,000 feet.
Let us help you take on a physical challenge
Women’s adventure travel isn’t the only way to take on a physical challenge, but it’s a wonderful excuse to go on a great trip. With the support from the AGC team and other women on your adventure, you’re sure to get the most out of your AGC experience. Whatever your goals are, we can meet you there. Can’t find the perfect adventure? Give us a call, and we’ll get that sorted.