Hiking – Part III

Part III – Got Cardio?

Not a runner? or New to running?  Walking is Ok.  Start with 3x per week for 30 minutes, building to 45 minutes.

As you progress, incorporate jog/walk for the 45 minutes, 3x per week.  Working in intervals of jogging – if you use music, try jogging for a song, walking for 2 or 3.  One of the reasons people like to hike is to be with nature.  If you’re training in a park or on a trail, skip the music.  If you’re training on your neighborhood streets, music helps pass the time.  You could also jog past a couple of houses and then walk past two or three times as many.

As you continue to progress to jogging 30 to 45 minutes without walking, work in intervals of short bursts of speed.  Sprint for 10 seconds.  Go all out, don’t hold back.  Walk for 50 seconds to recover.  Start with 1 sprint every 10 minutes of jogging.  See how you feel.  Work up to 6 or 8 sprint intervals in a 45:00 jog.  Do intervals for 1 of your 3 jogs/week.

If you find yourself tight on time some weeks, try Tabata Training.  Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.  In a nutshell, you push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. You’ll complete eight sets.  A workout would look like this:  Warm up easy jog for 5 minutes.  Sprint 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds.  Repeat 8x.  Jog or walk for 5 minutes.  14 minute workout.

Let’s talk hill repeats.  After all, you’ll be climbing up one long hill.  If you have access to a StairMaster, go for 30 minutes once a week.  Or set the auto program on a treadmill or eliptical for hill repeats.  Another option is to climb steps at the local high school or college stadium (if that’s permissible).  My local community college allows time to for folks to use the track and climb the bleacher stairs.  You can use the stairs in your house, too.  Walk up the stairs, quickly go down and repeat for several rounds.  Then step up every two stairs, quickly go down and repeat for several rounds.  Again, hill repeats are once a week.

Finally,  check out your local state parks.  Many of them offer programs that include group hikes.  Some sporting goods stores, like REI,  also do group hikes and offer “Hiking 101” courses.

Hiking – Finally – The Workout

Photos and Video will be posted in a day or two.

Warm-Up for all workouts

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Toes pointing straight forward.  Keeping your toes where they are, move your heels out (think pigeon toed).  Now move your toes out and at an angle.  One more time heel/toe.  You are establishing a wide stance.  This should be approximately where your feet should be planted for squats.  Make adjustments if needed.

Squat your seat down to your feet for a low squat (not a chair squat).  Keep your chest lifted.  Think “yogi squat”.  Hold here.  Maybe use your elbows to gently press out on your knees.  We are opening our hips.  Hold for 3 – 5 seconds. Stand, squeeze your glutes (butt muscles).  Repeat 5 times.

Come down on your hands and knees to “Table Top”.  Knees directly below hips, wrists directly below shoulders.  Slide your right hand (palm down) out to the right.  Left hand under left armpit, elbow bent.  Lower your chest to the floor, press into the right palm.  Feel the stretch in the right shoulder.  Hold 3-5 seconds.  Repeat on the Left.

Back to Table Top.  Thread the Needle.  Left palm stays under left armpit.  Slide the back of the right hand (palm up) on the floor under the left armpit and come to rest on the right shoulder and right temple.  Hold 3-5 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.  Come back to Table Top.

Hamstring stretch – From Table Top, push your tush high into Downward Facing Dog.  You will likely need to walk your hands forward.  Pedal your feet by pressing your right heel down as you bend your left knee and lift your left heel, staying on the balls of the toes of the left foot. Switch feet – like you’re walking.  Right heel up, then left heel up.  Repeat for 5 on each side.

Walk your hands to your feet, keeping a slight bend in the knees, and slowly roll up.  Allow your hands to graze your chins and thighs as you roll up one vertebrae at a time until you come back to standing.

Cardio and Strength Day (2x per week – Maybe Tuesday and Thursday)

Aim for 30:00

Goblet Squats – Hold a #10 dumbbell with both hands close to your heart.  Take your time – slow and controlled – 10 squats.  Always make sure your knees are stacked above your ankles, not in front of your toes.  Proper alignment alleviates knee pain.

Shoulder Press – Take a #5 or #10 dumbbell in your right hand.  Rest the DB on your right shoulder, then press it straight up and back to the shoulder.  10 reps on each side.  If you don’t have access to dumbbells, go for 10 push-ups.  From Plank position, wrists under shoulders, slowly lower down.  Elbows graze the ribs and chest comes down, then thighs.  Aim for 10.  You can always lower your knees.

Jump Rope – One Minute.  Elbows tight beside your waist, wrists slightly out.  Allow the rope to circle from the handle.  If you don’t have a rope, no worries.  Just mimic the movement.

Burpees – everyone’s favorite!  Stand, place hands on floor, jump feet back to plank, jump feet forward to hands, jump up and clap.  One Minute.  You can do this!  You can always step your feet back, step your feet to hands and stand up, clap hands overhead.  Do your best.  Try to jump the burpees before opting to step.

Plank – straight line from shoulders to hips to ankles.  No butts in the air, no saggy bellies!  Hold One Minute.

Rest – One Minute.  Grab some water, walk around, then REPEAT as many Rounds As Possible for your 30:00.




Hiking is Contagious (Part Two) – Got Training?

Now that I have established myself as a non-hiker, I’m going to share some pointers.  Having talked to friends and having done some research, I hope to save you a little time here.

The focus of this article is training to summit Pike’s Peak.

“The early-morning wake-up call, the long trek to high elevations, breathing in the rarefied air and taking in the stunning view atop a 14,000-foot mountain all add up to a challenging adventure.”  (The Coloradoan).

Do your homework on what to pack, when to go and know the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness.  See pikes-peak.com for information.

Here’s where I come in – getting you into peak (no pun intended) cardiovascular condition.  Hiking is a total body experience and you’ll need total body conditioning for this challenge.  Focusing on endurance, leg and core strength, and flexibility will get you in shape.

First and foremost, make sure you have your doctor’s ok before attempting the hike and the workouts.  Because physical exercise can be strenuous and subject you to risk of injury, you are doing so entirely at your own risk.  If you choose to participate in the exercises and training plan, you have agreed that your participation indicates “waiver and release”.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the workouts.




Hiking is Contagious!

Seriously, just Google it!  Articles in TripAdvisor, Forbes, and, of course, the National Park Service.

Health care providers throughout the country are encouraging patients to spend time in nature.  Check out the Park Rx movement.

“In Washington DC, health care providers connect green space and park data to an electronic medical record to refer patients to parks for improved physical and mental fitness…In 2016, U.S. Surgeon General Murthy attended a Park Rx Day event in Rock Creek Park, a national park in Washington, DC, to encourage visits to parks as part of his large Step It Up! campaign to promote walkable communities.” (www.nps.gov)

Ok, so now what?  Lace up your shoes and get out there!

This summer, two of my friends are out on the Appalachian Trail.  Stretching more than 2,190 miles across 14 states, starting on Springer Mountain in Georgia, ending on Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the AT is considered one of the best long-distance hiking routes in the entire world!  And, yes, my friends are going the distance!

Not on my bucket list –  Just sayin’

Mid-summer, some other friends are heading to Colorado to climb Pike’s Peak.    Still not on my bucket list, LOL.  Pike’s Peak, considered “America’s Mountain”, is the most visited peak in North America.  It is also the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rockies.  Did you know Colorado is home to 53 “fourteeners”?  (Mountains more than 14,000 feet above sea level.)