Wilderness Fitness (With Video)

October 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss Videos

By Steven L. Doran

Health and fitness can not be obtained by simply taking a pill or watching a video. Everyone is capable of improving their physical ability. It is not going to happen overnight but you will see progress in a matter of days. Your goal should always be am I physically fit enough to get out of harms way? Or can I improve my fitness level to accomplish my outdoor goal with less chance of injury .

As an example if you are a fisherman, and you fell out of the boat in the middle of the lake, could you pull yourself back in without assistance? If you have health related issues, it is a fact you can still improve. The other fallacy is that thin people are more fit than people who are over weight. Sorry not true. There are a lot of thin people in horrible shape.

If there is ever a time when a person it totally alone, it is in the wilderness. There are no neighbors, no 911 you are on your own. You are extremely lucky if someone happens buy. Even if they do it may be to late. Why would you want to put yourself or a loved one in danger, when you have the ability to change it, and it is so simple.

Make working out a part of your daily activities. You don’t have to invest in anything. Take daily walks during your breaks at work. Use stairs instead of the elevator. Carry things that have some weight to them. Park in the very back of the parking lot where ever you go. Start slow, and add more each day. You will be surprised at how fast they add up.

Lets talk about the mechanisms of being really fit? You do not have to look like a professional body builder, model or actor to be fit. But you do have to meet the following criteria. This is not just for outdoors-men, it works for everyone. It can be tuned to your interests and activities. However this article is geared toward people who want to get fit for wilderness activity. The main goal is having fun doing it.

Balance on the trail is extremely important since you are typically walking on uneven ground, switchbacks, steep and rough terrain. To prepare for the balanced flowing movement you need to be walking outside not on a treadmill or other machine, I do not even walk on a track or sidewalk. I go to park trails, open fields with hills etc. After you get used to it, start wearing a small pack, followed by a larger one, or you can use a weighted vest as I do. You can wrestle with a work out partner, work out on the heavy bag, and a balance board on alternate days. When walking narrow uneven trails you do not want to loose your balance.

Endurance can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Remember in most cases in the wilderness there are no phones, water stops, restaurants etc. There are a lot of things that can and do happen and you will have to push through to safety.

If you are planning on doing a trail hike you should be able to exceed the distance of the planed hike, backpacking trip, expedition or what have you by at least 5 miles.

I know many a hiker, hunter, backpacker who have died on the trail because they do not prepare for the trip. They had the best equipment money could buy, but did nothing to prepare physically or did very little. Their work out did not mach their trip. You must have the physical endurance to finish every trip. You must keep your physical condition in mind when planning a trip.

You must your train for cardio-vascular endurance, maintain and always try increasing your endurance through out the year. Take day and other short realistic hikes to gauge your progress.

Mental endurance is also key out in the middle of nowhere you can not give up and lie down. So do not do it when you are training at home. Get used to talking to yourself, saying you can do it just a little farther, almost done. Make your goal doable and do not give up until you are done.

Flexibility Typically if we work in a job that does not require physical activity we loose Muscular and joint flexibility they only way to keep it is training. A regimen of stretching and weight lifting can improve physical flexibility. I like the kettle bell for this.

A muscle strain or pull can keep you from getting out of the wilderness, building or setting up shelter, colleting fire materials, basically diminishing your capabilities to survive. When in the wilderness you need to be able to perform. Lower back injuries can take you out of the game faster than a bear attack.

Stay Focused under stress. What has this got to do with fitness? I have worked out with a lot of people who love to whine. Even if you do not speak out loud, when you are complaining mentally, you loose focus on the task at hand, you also increase your stress level. There may be a snake, wild animal, or other hazard on the trial and you walk right into it because you do not stay focused because you were to busy whining to yourself. When working out get used to looking around you, ahead of you, enjoy yourself, and stay focused look for danger signs on the trail or what is around you.

Speed is something we may need from time to time the ability to move quickly may save your life. I like wind sprints, a quick burst of speed is typically what you will need to get out of harms way. You may also want to include drills like, dropping to the ground and getting back up and quickly moving to the next point. The heavy or speed bag will help you to increase hand and arm speed. Another aspect of speed is learning to make a split second decision. You must recognize an impending threat. In the wilderness you do not have time to attend a management conference to decide what to do.

Nutrition and water consumption is one of the most important components to any exercise program. If you are not eating right, or drinking enough water it will take you much longer to accomplish you goal. Worse it can cause you to give up. A great diet, hydration, along with certain supplements will insure that you succeed.

I highly recommend www.bodybuilding.com as the source for getting the supplements you need. Why? First and foremost, their staff and the excellent information they provide when ordering. Tell them what you want to obtain, weight loss, weight gain, cardio, endurance and their experts will recommend the supplements you need to obtain that goal.

I have been dealing with them for years and can assure you that they are not an up-sell company. They may even tell you to not take certain thing because it is not helpful to what you are trying to do. Next is their website it contains a ton of free information sources to help you obtain your goal. Last but not least is price and speedy service. I have not found any other location that can consistently match their prices, and I have never waited more than 2 days to get my order.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven L. Doran

All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.

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