How to prepare your body for an active vacation

Kayak trips, cycling trips or walking along mountains trails are great ways to spend free time, whether with friends or alone – to catch your breath away from the din of the city.

What’s the best way to prepare your body for these kinds of activities so they become a source of pleasure, and don’t end up causing you lasting soreness? Below you’ll find a few tips for getting your organism ready for an active holiday.

KAYAK TRIP

A few hours of paddling can really be hard work for your organism, so approximately a month before heading out you should think about a few basic aspects of getting yourself ready:

  • strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles, e.g. by lifting weights,
  • if you have the opportunity (e.g. in a gym), use a rowing machine to simulate paddling a kayak, and train on it 2–3 times a week,
  • work on the stamina of your lower back muscles – they also work hard during paddling,
  • work on your overall torso stabilisation. It will come in handy in that wobbly kayak.

BIKE TRIP

As with kayaking, if you don’t prepare your organism for that long ride on two wheels, you might end up with really sore muscles, or even an injury. If you want to improve your condition before a long bike trip, don’t forget these basics:

  • fit your bike to your body. If you make a bad choice of the equipment you’re riding, instead of improving your condition you might cause an injury – of, say, your knee joints or spine,
  • start working in advance on your legs, especially the muscles on the front of the thigh (quadriceps) as they are the driving force when pedalling,
  • on colder days you can use a stationary bike or do spinning classes to improve your stamina and power,
  • on long trips, try to ride at the speed at which you can carry on a conversation with another person without undue effort. That way, you will minimize the soreness of those muscles.

WALKING THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS

Hiking mountain trails requires you to be a lot fitter than when strolling through the park every day or walking to work and back. When planning a trip to the mountains, it’s worth giving some thought to supporting your organism by appropriate training:

  • when walking in the mountains, a key role is played by the stamina of the muscles on the front of your thigh, your buttocks, and your calves. Focus mainly on these during your preparatory training,
  • if you plan to cover more than a dozen kilometres each day, then several weeks beforehand start extending and intensifying your daily walks,
  • if you go to a gym, look for the training stairs and use them as a substitute for walking up and down that mountain,
  • use the stairs instead of the lift during the day. It’s a great practice for your legs,
  • strengthen the muscles of your back, chest and, above all, abdomen. You’ll need them to be strong if you’re wearing a heavy backpack,
  • during your travels, use a backpack that has an extra clasp on the hips. That way you’ll take some load off your lower back and shoulders.

Remember!

Kayaking, cycling and walking are fantastic ways to spend your free time actively. If you keep physically active throughout the year, they don’t require a long period of prep.

But if you spend several hours a day sitting down at work, then one or two months before your trip, pay some attention to your condition and start adapting your organism to the activity you’re planning.

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