Stay Injury Free on Your Next Adventure

You’ve been looking forward to your next adventure for quite some time, and the last thing you want is for something to get in the way of your enjoying it fully. So, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your active trip, feeling fit throughout and staying injury free.

Håkan Dahlström Photography
Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström Photography via Flickr
  1. Start a training program before you depart
  • If you’ve been a bit slack with the good ol’ cardio, and strength training lately, it’s a good idea to start getting some regular exercise before you head off. Ideally give yourself at least 2 months before you leave to feel the most benefits.
  • If you’re dealing with aches and pains or old injures, perhaps contact a personal trainer for specialized advice and they can also help to encourage you along while building the perfect training program for your fitness level.
  • Also, remember to train for your specific trip. If you’re going on a biking trip, get biking! If you’re going hiking, get hiking! If you want to get better at an activity, the more practice you you have at it, the better. Our bodies adapt to the demand we put on them. So, start challenging yourself!
  1. Warm Up
  • Before you head off on any activity, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles and joints and prepare your body for the activity ahead.
  • A dynamic warm up is best as it will will increase blood flow to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and enhance elasticity of these tissues to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Ideally, spend 5-10 minutes warming up. A great warm up would including going for a short walk to feel your heart rate rise slightly. Then, add some dynamic stretching where you prepare your whole body for movement. Good examples would be doing arms circles and torso rotations, leg swings back to front and side to side, walking with high knees and butt kicks, body weighted squats and lunges, and jumping jacks.
  1. Hydrate and Fuel
  • Water is your best friend. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.  Remember that at the time you feel thirsty you’re body is already a little hydrated so sip on your water throughout the day.
  • Pack an “emergency” energy bar for your day’s activities, to avoid dehydrations, cramp, low blood sugar, and dizziness, and to as a way to keep your energy up.
  • Even when your activity is finished, keep rehydrating, as this will set you up for the following day.
  1. Stretch
  • Stretching is an integral part to staying fit, healthy and injury free. Spending just 5-10 minutes stretching after a full day of activities can help relieve post-exercise aches and pains, and decrease muscle stiffness.
  • With flexible muscles you’ll have greater range of motion in your joints, and you’re less likely to become injured.

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