Traveling can take its tole on the human body even if you do not plan on climbing huge peaks or even just intend to wonder around cities you will feel the burn. This is especially present if you are visiting countries that have climates you are not used too. I am talking about hot and cold weather. This is why today I am going to talk to you about how you can physically prepare for demanding trips.
Cardio training is probably one of the most important aspects of your physical health to develop for a physically demanding trip. This is because travelling often involves a lot of walking over a wide variety of terrains. I know when I am travelling, I usually have a backpack on my back as well, so you need to account for that in the real world as well.
In my experience, gauging where you are at right now is an important step to understanding where you need to go from here. If you are not as physically fit as you would like to be it is a good idea to start exercise off slow and easy. You might think you can run it, but this is not the 100-meter sprint, this is a marathon.
Build up your stamina with regularly pushing yourself just a little be beyond what you did yesterday. Walking uphill is a great place to start for a lot of people who do not have much exercise with hiking. When you have built up the stamina to walk up local hills or uphill on a treadmill for 60+ minutes at a good pace you should start thinking about how you can strengthen your muscles. If you want to exercise with other people for some motivation, consider going for pilates classes a few days in the week so that you can get your cardio in while also building strength, all of it with a professional trainer to guide you.
When travelling, you need to strengthen key muscle groups that will be responsible for keeping you going on those trails. The key areas I focused on that helped me were my core, legs, and back muscles. Those are muscles that will be pushed the hardest during long hikes in hostile temperatures. This is why it might be a good idea to hit the gym and focus on those core muscle groups.
I like to work out in the gym when doing resistance training, this is because I can get help if I need it and socialise with those that also love exercise. At the gym, there is a lot of equipment that can help you target the muscle groups you want to target to improve the muscles you will need to carry yourself across those beautiful landscapes. I like to work on my upper leg muscles with the leg curl machines and push my core on the sit up machines. I find these work my core and upper leg muscles which are critical when looking to build endurance for long hikes.
Conditioning Your Body
I love the gym just as much as the next guy but the issues with the gym is that it does not simulate the environment you are in. Most gyms are air conditioned to keep everyone performing optimally. Unfortunately, you will not have that luxury when you are climbing a mountain in Cuba. So, my advice, would be to go for long walks in your local area, let us say 120 minutes +, if you can do it on a really hot day or a really cold day. This way you can gauge how you would perform in those situations and make appropriate adjustments.
When conditioning your body, it is critical to listen to it when you are pushing it. If you do not listen to your body, you will injury yourself. You should be feeling reasonable amounts of strain but if you damage yourself you will put yourself out of action for a while which will slow down your progress. Take your time and slow ease into harsher workouts. We all must start somewhere. I know I had too before I decided to climb beautiful foreign mountains.
Ultimately, getting in shape for traveling should be a high priority on your list of things to do when getting ready to go travelling. Travelling is often very taxing on the body, especially if you plan on going hiking but even if you are just exploring a city, you will mostly travel on foot. This can strain the body so make sure you condition your body with a mix of cardio and resistance exercises.