The adventure travel fitness guide will show you how to get fit for any adventure tour or active vacation.
Does your holiday or vacation involve treking, hiking, biking, rowing, or climbing? Do you want to be fit enough to participate in as many activities as possible without getting injured, tired, or sick?
The quick guide below lists 3 useful tips that will help you get fit for any active holiday, along with useful gear info, videos, and workouts to get you started.
Your shoulders, hips, knees, and back are the areas that are most prone to injury when they are weak and out of alignment.
Imagine having your adventure vacation ruined because of a torn rotator cuff, twisted ankle, crippling hip or low back pain, or torn knee ligaments. Even the most fit people can get seriously injured if their bodies are out of alignment.
Being out of alignment is like being the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Imagine what would happen if they piled more bricks on top of that tower. The structure would probably topple over and break to pieces. Same goes for your body. Putting extra strain on a mis-aligned body with demanding physical pursuits can lead to painful injuries that will stay with you forever.
Want to hike all the best trails in Maui and Oahu without getting hurt or sore? Start stretching 10 minutes every day to bring your spine, hips, and shoulders into alignment with each other. Try my Best Fat Burning Warm-up Exercises before your workouts or my Best Flexibility Exercises Routine.
If you workout regularly chances are your workouts don't include enough exercises that strengthen the muscles that surround your load bearing joints (shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles).
I've had numerous clients tell me horror stories of how they tore a shoulder or dislocated a knee just picking up heavy luggage. They still enjoyed their trip but not to the extent that they would have had they not been in excruciating pain the entire time.
To avoid major damage to your joints that can ruin your adventure tours try to incorporate these 4 types of movements into your workouts.
Foot & Ankle Flexibility: heel walks, foot circles, foot point and flexes, and calf stretches.
Knee Strength & Stability: lateral band walks, seated ball or block squeezes, wall sits.
Hip Strength & Mobility: single leg squats, hip extensions, transverse reaches, and step downs.
Shoulder Strength & Mobility: shoulder blade retractions (squeezes), internal and external shoulder rotations, reverse arm circles.
Core Stability Exercises: stability ball planks,
Want to climb the pyramids without twisting your ankle or getting completely exhausted? Get busy with the Best Exercises for MultiSport Vacations and the Best Core Exercises. These helped me get fit for kayaking Lake Powell, hiking the Grand Canyon, and bouldering in Utah.
Believe it or not walking 8-12 miles a day is much easier when you train your body with short interval cardio workouts and full body ab exercises.
Interval cardio has been found to burn 9 times more fat but it also increases endurance quickly and produces the type of energy reserves your body needs for rowing, treking, or biking, long distances over uneven high elevation terrain. Get started with any of the interval cardio workouts on this site.
Fullbody ab exercises on the other hand strengthen your abs in a very functional way. They prepare you for a full range of movement. Need an adventure travel fitness plan? Try my Primal Fitness Workouts Plan a 6 week workout plan that skyrockets your endurance with exercises that correct postural imbalances, improve core and total body strength, and boost energy and metabolism.
The most important piece of equipment for any adventure travel fitness tour is your shoes. Always pick shoes with good support, good cushioning, and that allow natural foot movement.
Watch the video on how to get fitted featured in our best running shoes guide then check out my top picks below.
Kayaking: Teva Sandals or Keen Sandals are water proof, slip proof, and great for sightseeing and water sports but not great for long treks or hikes. Wearing sandals like this means constantly having to shake out rocks or friction from sand trapped beetween your feet and your shoes. This makes walking long distances very uncomfortable. If you're looking for a combination sandal hiking shoe then try a hybrid shoe like the Salomon Tech Amphibian W's Asphalt.
Treking or Hiking: A good trail running shoe will work for most adventure tours and some of the best brands include Adidas, Montrail, Merrell, & Vasque.
My favorite trail shoe for adventure hiking is the Inov8 Unisex Flyroc 310 Trail Running Shoe. This shoe rocks because it allows natural foot movement and when you're feet can move the way they were intended to move you are less likely to experience fatigue, cramps, or sprains. That's me hiking Buckskin Gultch in my Inov8 shoes.
If you are going to hike more rugged areas or go longer than 9 miles then do consider a more sturdy hiking boot or hiking shoe and be sure to wear your shoes for 2 months before you travel to avoid blisters. Two great ones to try are:
Mountain Biking: The Shimano Multi-Sport/Touring Bike Shoes are great if you're going to spend a majority of your trip on a bike. It's best to invest in a shoe that increase performance for the sport you're going to be doing the most. The wrong shoe can really slow you down and lead to cramps, back pain, and leg soreness.
More adventure travel fitness tips and workouts coming soon!