GET­TING IN SHAPE FOR YOUR TRIP

Health & Nutrition - - HEALTHY VACATION -

How you phys­i­cally pre­pare for a multi-day hik­ing or cy­cling trip de­pends on many fac­tors, in­clud­ing your level of aer­o­bic fit­ness and over­all strength, in­clud­ing that of your leg and core mus­cles. If you are not well-trained, the best way to pre­pare is to do the ac­tiv­ity un­der the con­di­tions you’ll be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing – such as walk­ing on rough ter­rain, cy­cling up steep hills, or car­ry­ing all your gear. Start at least six to eight weeks be­fore you de­part to give your­self enough time to work up to be­ing com­fort­able with the max­i­mum daily mileage you’ll en­counter on the trip. Train­ing for a bike trip can in­clude a com­bi­na­tion of aer­o­bic ex­er­cise (fo­cused on in­door or out­door cy­cling along with cross-train­ing such as rowing, jog­ging, or swim­ming) and strength train­ing. For in­stance, each week you could do two long rides, grad­u­ally in­creas­ing the dis­tance by five to ten miles ev­ery week or two. For walk­ing and hik­ing treks, es­pe­cially those with sig­nif­i­cant down­hills – an ac­tiv­ity that in­volves what’s called ec­cen­tric mus­cle con­trac­tion, which puts added strain on leg mus­cles – strength train­ing that tar­gets this kind of mus­cle ac­tion, or weekly treks that have a down­hill com­po­nent, are rec­om­mended. Other work­outs can in­clude brisk walk­ing on a tread­mill set on an in­cline, as well as stair climb­ing.

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