Fitness Outdoors!

Backpacking Workouts – Fitness February Week 2

Last week I started creating a backpacking workout routine based on balancing endurance, strength, and flexibility training to start getting prepared to be in the best shape I can before backpacking season. I am continuing on the same schedule this week cycling through a couple different exercises as to not get bored and try and really make this “Routine” and routine.

Why do Backpackers Need a Fitness Routine?

I am a pretty active person: a regular runner, a weekly yogi & cycler, and an anytime I can get out there hiker, backpackers, cross country skier & snowshoer – so why am I putting this effort into re-imagining my normal workouts as backpacking prep workouts? Because I want to ensure that I am balancing my body for optimal injury prevention. Just last week my boyfriend came home seeing his physical therapist where she mentioned recreational running allows you to get out and move your body without forcing you into also build core strength. Bad news because that leads to injury in the back & knees – and I don’t want any weak hips to crap my style!

I think it is super hard to initially get into a total body fitness routine as a hiker and runner because I can get out on the trails without putting in the work.  LifeHacker has a great article on bad habit loops and why they are hard to break  – but in summary it says that our bad habits offer a unique reward. So, in the case of backpacking, getting to hit the trails without having to put in the effort of training is a hard reward to beat. But since I am trying not to be a slacker and prevent injury I need to rethink my reward… and my new reward of all this training (or so I hope) is that:

My backpacking fitness routine will make me that BAMF hiker that can blast up the mountain trails & dainty float down the switchbacks without knee pain. Also, I will get myself a new pair of hiking shoes!!!

So now that I am all fired up, lets continue with Week 2 of Fitness February & Fitness for Hikers!

Total Body Backpacking Workout

Winter Workouts to prepare for hiking season


 Yoga Routine

Last week I featured YogaYak’s YouTube videos, because I like how her hour long videos and moves me into the same mindset that a real live yoga class usually does. This week I wanted to show something different, focusing instead on a solid but quick yoga routine perfect for fitting into a busy schedule or before/after a run to try to loosen up. The Yoga Solution videos by Tara Stiles are awesome for this end, only lasting between 5 and 10 minutes…. AND DONE!

Cardio Routine

I am continuing on with this 5K to Barefoot 5K training – which is so far going alright for the knee since it has included very little barefoot distance yet. I will have to check back in when that changes! But I also wanted to share this article about incline training, since in theory I want to be training to climb over mountain passes and peaks you might think a little incline training might do some good? Let’s hope!

Strength Routine

I follow this super perky girl, Cassey, from the Blogilates YouTube channel because sometimes you just want someone to be freaking perky about working out (when you may not be). I was pretty hyped though when I saw she did a core routine with Valerie Waters who NROL mentions a bunch. This routine includes Valerie’s patented Valslides – which are essentially little slippery plastic sheets that function like furniture movers. In fact some of us (shhh!) might use real furniture movers because you can actually find those at the local hardware store instead of having to wait for them to arrive from Amazon.

AND: I put together a playlist of 3 videos for this week’s strength recommendations because I am having a really hard time finding weightlifting routine videos, Anyone know any good weightlifting YouTube channels? Anyhow I think 2 or 3 sets of 12 reps of each of these workouts would be pretty legit… but then again I am not trainer. Personally I am following along still in phase one of NROL for Abs – and after my first workout I woke up in the middle of the night with my quads KILLING. It is getting better though, and those quads will come in handy for long decents while backpacking.