Being fit is important when it comes to actively exploring a wilderness area. Fitness does not only apply to wilderness backpacking but all aspects of living a healthy life. I stay in shape for the latter
Backpacking in itself is a workout and my article on getting in shape by going backpacking is a great way to get fit. This article focuses on exercises you can do when you are at home without getting a gym membership. All the equipment you need is in the privacy of your own home.
My workout routine consists of a 30-minute workout not including your cardiovascular exercise. I recommend doing these exercises at least three times a week giving yourself 2 to 3 days off.
A Push-up is a basic strength and body toning exercise that most of us have done. Push-ups build the major upper body muscles consisting of the chest, shoulders, and upper back. Push-ups should be done using proper form. If you are having difficulty performing this exercise there is a modification you can do.
The modification is where you do the push-up off your knees. This reduces your overall body weight allowing you to do this exercise. Once you can do 25 modified push-ups then you can begin working on doing your push-ups in the basic formatted style.
*4 Sets o f 25 Repetition’s
Planks are a core strength exercise that works the entire body. Core muscles are those consisting of the midsection, (abdominal region, and back). This exercise also works other muscles such as your shoulders, chest, and gluts.
Planks are a timed exercise. Your goal should be to do 4 sets each consisting of 2-minute durations. The key to this exercise is to tense your abdominal and glut muscles.
*4 Sets of 2-minute durations
Pull-ups can be a difficult exercise to do. They focus on the upper body muscles (upper back, arms, shoulders). It is an excellent exercise for backpackers who do mountaineering tasks, (climbing, rappelling, etc.). You should not shy away from trying this exercise because you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
If you cannot do a pull-up then here are some modifications you can do. The first is the inverted pull-up. The inverted pull-up uses a lower bar with your legs positioned in front of you. This modification allows you to pull-up a reduced amount of your body weight. The second modification is for you to jump up as you pull yourself up.
*4 Sets of 6 Repetition’s
Step-ups are a lower body workout. They work the muscles of your legs, (Quads, Ham String, Gluts). Step-ups should be done on a solid and safe platform. You can do step-ups on a ladder, step stool, bench, etc. Step-ups can be done at varying heights. You select the height comfortable for you. You should do 25 on each leg or you can alternate the repetitions.
*4 Sets of 25 Repetition’s each Leg
Walking with a backpack in a wilderness is a cardiovascular exercise so why not incorporate it into this routine. Put on your backpack and load it with 30 to 50 pounds, and go for a walk in your neighborhood.Walking with your backpack prepares you for your wilderness adventure. You should do this exercise a minimum of 3 up to 5 times a week. When doing this exercise vary your pace as you walk.
You may want to conduct some type of interval training while doing this. For example, walk every other a tenth of a mile at a faster pace. Shoot for a minimum of 2 miles when performing this exercise.
*2 miles 3 to 5 times a week
Workout Routine Synopsis
- Push-ups 4 Sets of 25 Repitions (3 times a week)
- Planks 4 Sets of 25 Repitions (3 times a week)
- Pull-ups 4 Sets of 25 Repitions (3 times a week)
- Step-ups 4 Sets of 25 Repitions (3 times a week)
*Do the above 4 exercises one right after another for your 4 sets*
- Cardiovascular 2 miles 3 to 5 times a week (3 times a week)
You can modify this fitness routine to meet your needs. It is a routine that is quick and can be done in the privacy of your own home. It utilizes basic exercises that have been around for many years. The simplicity of this routine is what makes it appealing to me. I have seen great results doing this routine, and I believe that it will help you physically live a healthier life.