Walking is something most of us do on a daily basis. But if you’re planning a multi-day trek, then you should do some training to get fit for trekking holidays. To help, we’ve pulled together 8 cheap fitness hacks to help you get in shape for a trek.
Various health and fitness studies have shown that walking has many benefits. These include helping to build cardiovascular and muscular fitness, as well as fighting weight gain, depression and dementia. So hitting the trail is good for both body and soul.
In addition to improving your health while trekking you’ll be closer to nature, see breathtaking views and experience amazing places in an up close and personal way. However, it’s important to get fit for trekking holidays so that you’re in suitable ‘walking shape’ to really enjoy your holiday.
Trekking holidays vary greatly. You don’t have to trek long distances with a heavy backpack full of supplies for 12 hours a day. For example, on many guided treks the pace is slower, distances shorter and the tour company transports your luggage between stops.
To get in shape for a trek, the first thing to do is to assess your current fitness compared to that required for the trek you are planning. Remember to consider the climate, terrain, altitude, overall duration of trip, distance per day, what you’ll need to carry and how difficult the trail is.
Now you know what you’ll be facing it’s time to get fit for for your trek. So we’ve put together 8 cheap fitness hacks to help get you ready for trekking, that won’t break the bank.
Walking is the cheapest and easiest form of exercise. So, if you want to get fit for trekking holidays, start walking.
Many people complain that they don’t have the time to go for a walk, so you need to fit it into your life. Instead of taking the lift, walk up the stairs. Rather than drive to the shops, walk. On your daily commute get of the bus or train a stop or two early, or go for a walk every lunchtime.
If you are really unfit then commit to walking for 15 minutes each day and build it up. To get fit for trekking holidays you are going to need to be able to walk for at least four hours a day. But more likely you will be on the trail for 6-8 hours, so you should build up to full day hikes before your trip.
Running uses many of the same muscles as walking but is much more incense. Jogging builds muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness quicker than any other exercise. And of course it is free so as cheap fitness hacks go, jogging is one of the best.
If you are new to jogging it is good to run a bit and then walk a bit – afterall you are trying to get fit for trekking holiday so all walking is good. As with walking start small and build it up, if you are fit enough to run five to ten kilometers then you’ll easily have the fitness to walk 20-25 km a day.
Rollerskating or rollerblading is a fun, simple and relatively cheap exercise that helps develop similar muscles to walking. You can improve your physical endurance levels and build muscle, including working your core, lower legs, quads and hamstrings.
Creating a home gym doesn’t mean you need to have all the equipment and gadgets you’d find in a regular fitness centre. A simple kettlebell and skipping rope with weighted handles may be all you need to stay in shape with your improvised home workouts.
Also you don’t need any special gear for star jumps, squats, push-ups, burpees and sit-ups or many other exercises that will improve your strength and fitness. The key is to devise a workout that gets your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes and then doing it regularly.
If you have the space then see if you can pick up a cheap second hand cross trainers on ebay. Many people buy them with good intentions but don’t use them, so there are great bargains to be had on used exercise equipment. As cheap fitness hacks go, buying (and actually using) a cross trainer or step machine will help you get fit for trekking holidays.
Don’t have the time or budget to hire a trainer at a gym? There are lots of personal trainer courses that offer free videos and resources so help boost your fitness levels.
The guidance and lessons can get quite technical at times. But if you use personal trainer course information from somewhere like the NRPT, the FIA, or TheTrainingRoom, then you know the information is solid and trustworthy. You can also save money by using an online fitness coach.
There are also plenty of apps that will help to get you fit for trekking holidays. Many only use bodyweight exercises or household items to help build up your fitness.
Having just told you to download an App we are now swinging the other way… While the tech revolution has unquestionably made life easier, it’s also made us lazier. The average person spends a large chunk of their day gazing at their smartphone which is not good for fitness.
So to fight the sedentary lifestyle put your phone down, turn of your tech and go outside. It doesn’t matter what you, just disconnect for a while and put that time into being active outside and it will help you get in shape for a trek.
Skip gym costs and engage in some free workouts outdoors. Many parks have functional, outdoor gyms with equipment offering challenging exercises to help get you fit for trekking holidays. There are free outdoor gyms all over the UK and in many other countries.
With the obesity epidemic there are a growing number of free fitness classes being run. Sometimes only the introduction is free, but there are also council run fitness schemes that are free for the entire series. Check out your local authority and community centres.
Also some companies organise fitness classes to help keep employees fit and healthy. So if you work for a big organisation look into what is being provided. At the very least most offer discounted classes.
We hope you found these cheap fitness hacks useful. Be sure to check out our trekking discounts as you could save a fortune on your next trip.