Ready, set...Hike: The workout

How to trim down by becoming one with nature.

The benefits           The game plan          The workout

By itself, hiking can get your whole body into great shape, but it’s not a bad idea to incorporate a few training exercises on your days off. A good thing to keep in mind while you’re working out is to keep your workout moves just as dynamic and variable as hiking is in the real world.

Workout 1: Get on the right path
Time: 30 minutes

After completing a successful 12-day summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Wood learned the type of training that’s required to get ready for a major hike. To succeed on the trail, Wood, who’s 50, stresses building core strength, flexibility and leg strength. During his time at the gym, he focuses on dynamic workouts with lots of movement and a large range of motion, but it is actually yoga that has been his most important activity to avoid injury and improve flexibility. 

Workout 2: Hit the treadmill
Time: 30 minutes

Strapping on a 15-pound daypack, lacing up your hiking boots and hopping on a treadmill or StairMaster for an hour may attract some odd glances, but that’s one way Szczech maintains his hiking form when it’s difficult to hike outside. “Exercise in your gear, because then you’ll get comfortable,” he says. There are also a number of exercises that will hit the muscles you’ll need to perform on the trail.