Getting into shape doesn’t just make active travel doable. It makes it more enjoyable. Whether a new fitness regiment caters to vanity, doctor’s orders or the desire to live healthy, one thing’s certain: outdoor travel demands high levels of fitness, endurance and physical perseverance to maximize trails, waves and mountains on your adventure travel vacation. There’s nothing worse than peaking a mountain and gasping for breath when you could be enjoying the views. So plan ahead. Make simple lifestyle changes to get back into shape. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you later when you crest that mountain or ride that wave with ease.
Set a Goal: Train for Your Trip
Decide where you want to be fitness-wise before your trip, and give yourself enough time to get there. No 14-day diet is going to melt the pounds, but some (like the all-cranberry juice diet) can wreak havoc on your kidneys, your heart and your bones, not to mention your core muscles. Fast weight loss usually takes unsustainable efforts in diet and exercise. Instead consult your doctor and approach getting into shape as a training program, rather than a weight loss program. By keeping overall goals realistic, (i.e. running hills and hitting the stair-master to build endurance, or lifting weights and briskly walking long distances to build a strong aerobic base) you’ll prep your body for realistic adventure travel situations like mountain climbing, hiking and walking.
Get Outside: Travel isn’t on a treadmill
It’s doubtful your adventure travel itinerary has you jetting across the world to run on a treadmill at a foreign gym. You’ll be hiking, running, walking, surfing, swimming–whatever it is you do. So don’t only hit the treadmill at the gym to prepare your body. Machines can build a great fitness base and work your muscles, but don’t forget to get outside around your hometown for hands on training too. In addition to the gym, mix up your gym exercise routine with bike rides, long walks with your dog, find a local pool and put on your swimsuit. Sometimes the best training for an outdoor adventure trip is getting outside.
For tougher cardio workouts, throw an upbeat playlist on shuffle, put your head down and get moving. Music can distract your mind from pain or boredom machine exercises sometimes induce. Have fun with your workout and play games with your mind to make it go by faster. Run hard for one song and lightly jog for the next, or skip, shuffle, dance around, let loose. Getting moving is the first, fundamental, basic step to getting in shape, and music can be a great motivator.
Doctors at Mayo Clinic established their healthy weight pyramid for food guidelines. Think in terms of caloric input and output. Replace the calories you burn at the gym or outside with healthy calories. Eat a banana everyday to help with muscle soreness, and don’t forget to boost your protein intake through meat, nuts, eggs or protein shakes if you’re trying to build muscle. Try to avoid processed foods and think organically. Cutting alcohol consumption instantly shapes you up for your big trip.