<div> <div style="height: 20px; overflow: hidden;"></div> <div id="263779865777936202-gallery" class="imageGallery" style="line-height: 0px; padding: 0; margin: 0"> <div id="263779865777936202-imageContainer0" style="float:left;width:33.28%;margin:0;"><div id="263779865777936202-insideImageContainer0" style="position:relative;margin:5px;"><div class="galleryImageHolder" style="position:relative; width:100%; padding:0 0 75%;overflow:hidden;"><div class="galleryInnerImageHolder"><a href="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/uploads/1/7/3/9/1739499/dsc0153_orig.jpg" rel="lightbox[gallery263779865777936202]" onclick="if (!window.lightboxLoaded) return false"><img src="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/uploads/1/7/3/9/1739499/dsc0153.jpg" class="galleryImage" _width="400" _height="266" style="position:absolute;border:0;width:112.78%;top:0%;left:-6.39%"></a></div></div></div></div> <div id="263779865777936202-imageContainer1" style="float:left;width:33.28%;margin:0;"><div id="263779865777936202-insideImageContainer1" style="position:relative;margin:5px;"><div class="galleryImageHolder" style="position:relative; width:100%; padding:0 0 75%;overflow:hidden;"><div class="galleryInnerImageHolder"><a href="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/uploads/1/7/3/9/1739499/dsc0102-2_1_orig.jpg" rel="lightbox[gallery263779865777936202]" onclick="if (!window.lightboxLoaded) return false"><img src="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/uploads/1/7/3/9/1739499/dsc0102-2_1.jpg" class="galleryImage" _width="400" _height="266" style="position:absolute;border:0;width:112.78%;top:0%;left:-6.39%"></a></div></div></div></div> <div id="263779865777936202-imageContainer2" style="float:left;width:33.28%;margin:0;"><div id="263779865777936202-insideImageContainer2" style="position:relative;margin:5px;"><div class="galleryImageHolder" style="position:relative; width:100%; padding:0 0 75%;overflow:hidden;"><div class="galleryInnerImageHolder"><a href="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/uploads/1/7/3/9/1739499/dsc0055_orig.jpg" rel="lightbox[gallery263779865777936202]" onclick="if (!window.lightboxLoaded) return false"><img src="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/uploads/1/7/3/9/1739499/dsc0055.jpg" class="galleryImage" _width="400" _height="266" style="position:absolute;border:0;width:112.78%;top:0%;left:-6.39%"></a></div></div></div></div> <span style="display: block; clear: both; height: 0px; overflow: hidden;"></span> </div> <div style="height: 20px; overflow: hidden;"></div> </div> <div class="paragraph"> <span>Whether you are trekking through the snow on flat ground in the dead of winter or hiking in the summer with significant elevation gain, there is a lot of strength, endurance, coordination, and agility involved. </span><br><br>Most of us don't have the luxury of spending everyday hiking, so the best way to stay in shape for those outdoor adventures is to develop a regular fitness routine that allows you to hit the slopes or hiking trails whenever your schedule allots without worrying about your physical capabilities.<br><br>I've been living in Denver Colorado for the past two years and even with a regular fitness routine, the elevation can still be a challenge at times depending on the hike. This is exactly why I have continued to change up my routine to optimize my overall performance when hiking.  <br><br>As a preparation for elevation, uneven terrain, and walking long distances (often up), I like to do a combination of cardiovascular, resistance, and plyometic training. <br><br>Here are my top 3 ways to prepare for hiking: <br><br><strong>1. Sprints + 30-Minute Medium-Intensity Cardio</strong><br><br>Sprints are one of my favorite exercises to incorporate into my weekly routine as they not only improve your endurance for steep uphill climbs, they train your mind to push past your limits when the going gets tough on a hike.  <br><br><span>I recommend starting with the following (sprint at the park or on any cardio machine available to you):</span><br><br><u><span>-1-2 days per week: sprint for 10 seconds followed by a 15 second rest; repeat 10-15 times</span></u><br><br>For the medium-intensity cardio, you will want to keep heart rate between 70-80% of max heart rate (max heart rate = 220 - age):<br><br><u>I recommend 20-30 minutes of medium-intensity cardio twice per week. </u><br><br>If you don't have a heart rate monitor of some sort, you can gauge this by your ability to talk. At the medium-intensity pace, you will be struggling to talk without taking regular gasps for air. At a low-intensity pace talking can be done with ease.<br><br>In addition to this type of cardio training being helpful for long and steady uphill climbs, it's also extremely beneficial for snowshoeing endurance as you are often trekking through deep snow with heavy winter attire weighing you down--all of which creates extra resistance and a need for cardiovascular endurance, even on flat ground. <br><br><strong>2. Glute, Leg, and Core Training</strong><br><br>Another important component of hiking is having proper leg, glute, and hip strength. Cardiovascular endurance will only get you so far if your muscles do not have the strength and stamina to make those climbs and long treks. <br><br>I recommend doing the following 3 exercises 3 times per week for 12-20 reps each @ 3-4 sets:<br><br>1. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNTNYumDZ48" target="_blank">Front Squats</a><br>2. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY_tatg4-1A" target="_blank">Glute Thrusts</a><br>3. <a href="https://youtu.be/Teqbv-PLNiI" target="_blank">Step Ups</a><br><br><strong>3. Bodyweight and Plyometic Training</strong><br><br>With uneven terrain, jumping across water, maneuvering across slick surfaces, and the like, the deep core and stabilizer muscles are often challenged to their max during a hiking adventure. <br><br>The best way to train the stabilizer muscles is to perform exercises standing on one leg or an unstable surface such as a bosu. Another method of exercise that challenges the balance muscles along with developing power, strength, and speed is plyometic training.<br><br>I recommend doing the following exercises 3 times per week for 15-20 reps or 1 minute @ 3-4 sets:<br><br>1. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHnzrjTDLTo" target="_blank">Plank</a> (lift one leg off of the ground for 30 seconds; then switch holding plank for a total of 1 minute).<br>2. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMaNXj9cLjE" target="_blank">Mountain Climber and Pushup Combo </a><br>3. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9TNxe4ABp0" target="_blank">Jumping Bulgarian Split Squat</a><br><br>If you're looking for a program geared to help you reach your potential through a strategic workout, nutrition, and holistic health plan, I'd love to have you join my next <a href="http://www.rachelmeyerfitness.com/summitfit.html" target="_blank">Summit Fit</a> group running from March 6th-26th. Whether you want to hike your first "14er", improve your ski game, or get off the couch and spend more time with your kiddos, this program will push you past your limits and give you the plan you need to see significant results in your overall health and fitness.  </div>