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FITNESS by j e f f csatari

Prepare to Hike

You’ll have a better outing if your body’s not aching.

REMEMBER THE LAST TIME you went

hiking without training your body first? OK, perhaps the trauma permanently erased the pain from your memory. So let me jog it a bit: You couldn’t catch your breath. You thought your pounding heart might burst through your ribcage. Your lower back felt as if you had been sleeping on acorns. Knees screamed, hams burned, calves begged for mercy. And that was just during the walk from camp to the trailhead.

Don’t let it happen again. If you have hikes planned with your pack, troop, or crew, there’s still time to prepare your body so that you can enjoy yourself in the outdoors. “There’s no better way to get fit for hiking than by hiking,” says Jonathan Dorn, editor-in-chief of Backpackermagazine. “If you don’t have trails nearby, hit the stadium stairs or the StairMaster. Wear your boots and a pack; the gym rats might snicker, but you need to get your feet and shoulders engaged, too.”

Throw on your boots and a pack

loaded with 15 pounds of weight and go for warm-up walks at least twice a week, at least four weeks in advance of your trip. Or if you’re planning to attend July’s jamboree, you really need to shape up. Expect to walk upward of 10 miles a day in hot, humid weather on Fort A.P. Hill’s dusty grounds.

Brisk daily walking is the best way to prepare for jambo jaunting. But you should also work the following balanc- ing and strengthening exercises into your pre-hike preparation.¿

JEFF CSATARI is a contributing editor of Men’s Health. His new book is Your Best

Body at 40+ (Rodale, yourbestbodyat40. com).

44

S COUT ING ¿ MAY • JUNE 2 0 1 0

SHOULDER

SHRUG

WORKS THE TRAPEZIUS MUSCLE OF THE UPPER BACK

1 Stand straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your legs) and arms extended at your sides.

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2 Lift the dumbbells by elevating your shoulders as high as possible toward your ears. Pause in the up position for a second and then slowly lower the weights.

Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Gradually work up to three sets of 10. Over time, use heavier dumbbells.

WAITER’S BOW

LOOSENS THE LOWER BACK AND HAMSTRINGS

1 Hold a golf club, broomstick, or pole against your back vertically with one hand on top and the other on the bottom.

2 With feet spread hip-width apart, bend your knees slightly and then bend forward at the hips being sure to keep the pole touching your head, back, and butt. When you feel the pole start to lift off your butt, stop and hold that stretch for 20 seconds.

Return to the standing position and repeat the stretch twice more.

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