Get In Shape For Outdoor Vacations

May 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Destinations

So, you are planning vacations again and want something adventurous? Well, outdoor holidays can be a great way to spend a vacation. There are many activities you can do during outdoor vacations, including hiking which can be a great time to view some beautiful scenery first-hand.

But, you will need to get in shape especially if you have been a couch potato for the past several months. Obviously, hiking uses the leg muscles but almost every muscle is involved. Hiking also requires good cardiovascular and lung capacity along with the excellent muscular stamina.

Here are a few exercises you can starting doing to help you tackle the trails. With any exercise routine, perform a brief warm-up and stretches before starting the main workout. You might try jogging in place for the warm-up and stretches to focus on the left and right torso, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps.

Legs: To walk long distances over a lengthy time period will require that your leg muscles and joints are in top condition.

Squats are a good place to start. Extend your arms to the side or place them on your waste. Your heels should be close together but not touching and your weight balanced. Slowly squat down, then push yourself up. You can alternate between legs or stay with the same leg. Repeat this at least ten times and slowly work up to twenty then fifty as you gradually gain more leg strength.

Do the squats two to three times weekly if you want to be fully prepared. If your hike will be beyond a simple stroll over some hills, you are venturing on a more serious hike and will want to do some additional exercises. A weight machine is great for this purpose.

The back muscles are important to walking, as well as the torso area which provides the core against with limbs move. Strong back muscles maintain a good posture and are important for fighting off fatigue. This is especially true if you are carrying a backpack and traveling any significant distance. f

Sit-ups are also helpful to strengthen the core and torso muscles, as well as “lat” exercises. The latissiumus dorsi are the muscles on your side that often make men in shape resemble a triangular shape. Building these lat muscles and your nearby back muscles will help you on the long hikes. Moderate weightlifting is a great way to get these muscles in shape, and seated lifts, lat pull downs are two of the many exercises.

Finally, a rowing machine can work both the back muscles and the major leg muscles such as the hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. It is also a great cardiovascular-pulmonary workout. Start with a few minutes and work up to an hour in stages. Especially if you are new to rowing, give yourself a day or two in between sessions to rest.

There are many exercises that can help you get in shape for hiking. Just remember to make it a regular habit and do not give up!

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