HOW TO TRAIN FOR ADVENTURE
Authored by Caitlin Weekley
April 29, 2019
Before Live Alive Adventures, a vacation to me meant laying on a beach drinking Pina Coladas for a week straight. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to get my toes in the sand with a drink in my hand - and, my first adventure with Live Alive awakened the extreme traveler in me. Since then, I have hiked through and parasailed over a glacier in the French Alps, trekked to my highest elevation ever on the Salkantay Pass in Peru, licked a building made of salt in the Salt Flats in Bolivia, came close to being trampled by yaks in the Himalayas, drove around the entire countryside of England, ate raw beef in Istanbul and many, many other adventures in between. Another thing I have developed since then is an intense curiosity in the human body...how it moves, how it gets stronger and how it maintains the beautiful balance of health, longevity and the occasional Netflix binge, bottle of wine and pizza. ;-)
For any big adventure - there comes a lot of planning. Planning of the actual trip itself, the gear you will need...and planning on preparing your body so that you can enjoy everything that a challenging trip will bring your way.
With my training as a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, my new-found love of CrossFit and the fact that you can almost always find me training for my next adventure, I have included the three areas of movement I think any extreme adventurer can put his/her attention on while planning for that next big (or small!) trek.
Every body and everybody is different - so, please make sure to consult your doctor before attempting any of the movements below.
Cardio - getting your heart rate up a few times a week prior to your big adventure will build your endurance, lung capacity and ability to adventure all day and night no matter what you have planned. My two favorite ways to get in cardio are:
- Running stairs - I like to do five sets of five (running up and down five times, rest and then repeat five times) and I’ll switch it up between running up single stairs and then two stairs at a time. Bonus points if you wear the shoes you’ll be adventuring in and/or wear a day pack that is weighed down. Another great thing about running stairs is you are also building your stabilizing muscles in your feet, ankles and knees - key for any hiker.
- Spin - Who doesn’t love a sweat sesh that includes epic tunes and gets you prepared for your next adventure? Besides the fun factor, spin also strengthens your legs and core - perfect for stepping up big boulders and carrying a pack on your back.
Strength Training - building muscle and endurance will give you the ability to site see around a big city all day, handle your luggage with ease and take on any hike! My two favorite movements for strength training are:
- Squats and lunges - Feel free to add weight by holding dumbbells or kettlebells or add a resistance band about two inches above your knees to either of these movements - and, they are also great with just your body weight! Squats are great for strengthening your legs, low back and core. Lunges have the additional bonus of strengthening your stabilizing muscles.
- Tricep/Military Style Push-ups - Similar to regular push-ups, but you keep your arms and elbows close to the sides of your body during the movement (this way activates your large back muscles as well). Push-ups strengthen your arms, chest muscles, back and core (think: lifting your luggage to the overhead compartment on a plane, using trekking poles and carrying a pack on your back).
Stabilize - Strengthening your stabilizing muscles around your ankles, knees, hips and core are essential to avoiding injuries during your big adventure...and will make for less achy joints! My three favorite stabilization movements are:
- Resistance band movements - One of my favorite ways to work my stabilizing muscles around my knees and hips is to add a resistance band to really any movement! Think banded squats, lateral lunges, hip marches, etc. Amazon (to purchase a good set of bands) and Google (to search for different movements you can do) are going to be your best friends here.
- One-legged movements - Any time you are balancing on one leg (or one arm, one side of your body, etc.) - your body automatically engages all of the small stabilizing muscles in your joints that will assist you in any big adventure and make injury less likely. Think a lunge with your back foot resting on an elevated surface, one legged step-ups on a big box, single leg Romanian deadlifts...the possibilities are endless!
- Yoga - Duh! :-) In addition to all of the stabilization strength (all of those balancing postures!) you get from yoga, you also get the benefit of stretching and lengthening your muscles, increasing your lung capacity and practicing putting your attention on your breath. Whether you are trying to get through a large crowd in a city or are being faced with one of your biggest fears, your breath is essential for getting you through ANYTHING!
Reach out to me for more information, send me pictures of you performing one of the movements above and keep me posted on your training adventures by reaching out to me via Instagram @workinggirlwellness. I love you and happy adventure training!
Blogging Adventurer: Caitlin Weekley
Caitlin is a working girl in the corporate world and if you are ever looking for her, you can find her on her yoga mat, at the airport, at the farmer's market, at the CrossFit gym, on the side of a mountain, by the pool or in her kitchen whipping up a meal with a glass of wine in her hand.