Not All Who Wander Are Lost: A Blog for Adventurous Women

How to Train for Your Next Hiking Trip

Posted by Marian Marbury on Apr 8, 2015 6:52:33 PM

The correct title for this should probably be "How I'm training for my next hiking trip". Everyone is different and has their own ways of getting ready for a hiking trip so take this for what it's worth. But I'm pretty typical in many ways (I've never done a marathon in my life) and I'm getting ready for two challenging trips: Trekking in Nepal: the Mustang Region June 6 - 22 and Trekking to Machu Picchu July 29 - August 8. Being unprepared is not an option.

So first - it's at the end of a long winter. My last trip was in October and after I returned from CanadianRockiesCelebthat trek, I took about 3 weeks off where I didn't do more than walk the dogs every day. After that I started going to the gym 4 or 5 days a week (I'm extremely fortunate to be a 7 minute walk from a women's gym) where I worked out on an elliptical machine for about 30 minutes at a moderate pace (translation: I was breathing hard but I could still talk). I used to run but creaky joints made that uncomfortable and the elliptical is non-jarring. This is enough to keep me reasonably fit. Throw in a little stretching afterwards and the whole thing was about 40 minutes. I began telling myself I needed to prepare more in mid-February and finally in mid-March I actually started. This is what I am doing. The first 2 are on the elliptical and the third is on a stairmaster.

  1. Twice a week I do intervals. In a 30 minute period, I warm up for 5 minutes then I alternate cycles of a minute of working really hard with a minute of much less intense effort (the recovery period) for 20 minutes (so 10 cycles) and then end with 5 minutes of cooling down. Some days I can push myself harder than other days. A lot of research proves that this improves aerobic conditioning more effectively then longer periods of more moderate activity. I'm adding 2 minutes every week until I get to 40 minutes.

  2. Twice a week I do a longer moderate workout, at about the same level of effort that I was doing during my winter downtime. I started with 40 minutes and every three weeks I add another 5 minutes until I get to 60 minutes. The main purpose of this is to build endurance.

  3. Twice a week I workout on a StairMaster to combine aerobic training, endurance, and muscular conditioning in a way that mimics the long hills I'll be climbing. This feels like the hardest thing I do and I've found the key is to start slowly each time and build gradually and then do a series of intervals that are longer than a minute but where the pace is increasing or decreasing every minute  (e.g. 1 minute at 7, then 8, then 9, then 10, then 9, then 8, then 7). It must be working because today 10 felt easier than a month ago. I do a total of 30 minute and I plan to very gradually increase to 40 while also increasing the highest level I go to.

  4. Twice a week I also do sets of lunges and squats, along with a couple of upper body and triceps exercises. I started with 3  sets of each and have now worked up to 4 with the plan to go to 5, also increasing the hand weights I use while I do them. I also do abdominal exercises of some sort right before I stretch every day. I should do more weightlifting but I don't enjoy it, and this seems what I can make myself do. I know from long experience that my knees will be incredibly grateful on the long downhills.

  5. Now that the weather is nice, I plan to start hiking every Saturday. It's a truism that the best training for hiking is hiking and if I lived somewhere I could easily hike more often, that's what I'd do. I hike in the Baltimore-DC area and if you want to join me for a hike, please shoot me an email.

  6. But wait, does that mean I never take a day off?! No. I say twice a week but it can be more like 6 out of 8 days if something interferes or if I start feeling too tired. Sometimes when I'm tired I make myself workout anyway and it peps me up. But if it doesn't, if I'm slogging thru mud, then I take the next day off.

This may sound like more than you want to do. Honestly, its more than I want to do on a regular basis. But I'm really looking forward to both trips and I know that I will be grateful for every ounce of extra energy I'll have then from the training I do now.

 

Topics: hiking, health and fitness, trip preparation

How to Find Hiking Partners

Posted by Katie Flanagan on Jul 26, 2013 1:00:00 PM

In response to a recent blog, one reader commented with a question: Does anyone have ideas about how to find hiking partners? This is actually a common reason women sign up for our trips. That is, they do not have many friends that enjoy hiking (or other outdoor activities) in the same way they do. For some, an “active vacation” is an oxymoron; for others an “active vacation” is exactly what they love about traveling with Adventures in Good Company. On an AGC trip you will be among women who enjoy outdoor activities, but our trips only last a week or two. The other 50 weeks in a year, some AGC participants find themselves without hiking partners to share in their pastime.  Also, AGC participants looking to train for trips may not want to do so solo. If that describes you (or someone you know), below are 3 ways to find hiking (or other outdoor activities like kayaking and biking) and trip training partners near you.

1.  Sierra Club: Local chapters of the Sierra Club often organize group outings which are generally open to members and non-members alike. There are no fees except for incidental expenses like part-entry costs. The outings are led by Sierra Club volunteers and include a range of activities including hikes, peak scrambles, bicycling, cross-country skiing, bird-watching, conservation-oriented walks, or forays into the remaining natural areas of our major cities.  These outings can be a great way to meet people with similar interests. To find a local outing near you, visit: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/ agc banner2 03 resized 600 2.  Meetup Groups: According to their website: “Meetups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something.” They are grassroots groups started by members of communities, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. It is a way to connect virtually with others in your local community and then physically meet face-to-face to do an activity, discuss a certain topic, learn something new or just socialize. There are over 9,000 meetup groups throughout the world; one community may have meetup groups ranging in activities and issues such as outdoor adventure, running, movies, vegetarian lifestyles, entrepreneurs, scooters, and beekeeping. To find a meetup group (or start one of your own) in your community visit: http://www.meetup.com/find/

3.  Your Local Gym: Accountability and a regular exercise/fitness training routine often go hand in hand. That is why many gyms have a bulletin board or even webpage to find training partners. It is a space when individuals can find others with similar schedules, interests, and fitness level to exercise and train together. Often time a local community center, YMCA, or even church will have a similar system; if they don’t, suggest they create one (if you have time, offer to get it started) – it will benefit the organization and its members greatly. For an idea of what a gym “classifieds” section looks like visit: http://ontario.kijiji.ca/f-workout-partner-Classifieds-W0QQKeywordZworkoutQ20partner

 

Hiking Tips for Women

Topics: health and fitness, trip preparation

Should you have expectations for adventure travel?

Posted by Marian Marbury on Jun 11, 2013 5:25:00 PM

I started thinking about the issue of expectations
and adventure travel after receiving a trip being open to adventure travelevaluation from a woman returning from her second trip with us. To paraphrase, she said that there had been some disappointments on the first trip so she had gone into this trip with no expectations; she had had an amazing time and totally loved it. My first (internal) response was - yes, exactly, when we don't have expectations, then we can be fully open to whatever happens. And since the nature of adventure travel is that there is some inherent unpredictability, we want to be open to embracing what presents itself, not clinging to our expectations of what we thought it should be.

Bu then I thought - OK, but does it follow that a company can offer anything and you shouldn't  complain because you're so living in the present moment that you don't notice that all the cool things on the itinerary aren't actually happening? That doesn't seem right. Not having expectations shouldn't mean that there are no standards and that anything goes.

Many adventure travel companies do try to set expectations in their trip descriptions, either implicity or explicitly. From a purely business standpoint, much less an ethical standpoint, you don't help your business by misleading people about the experience they've signed up for. Yes, sometimes things change, but no one wins by setting it up for that to happen.

Sometimes people don't even know what their expectations are until they're not met. A minor example? Americans often dislike that dinners in Italy are usually large and late; in Spain they are even larger and later. You probably wouldn't have put dinners at 6pm on your list of expectations until you were trying to get to sleep with an uncomfortably full stomach. Experience is how we learn what is truly important to us and how to deal with an expectation that can't be met. Maybe we learn to leave food on our plate; maybe we carry Tums with us; maybe we just don't travel in Italy.

The bottom line is that we all have expectations, and to the extent possible, we need to know what they are. If we do, then we can decide if they are something we can let go of, adapt to, or make sure they will be met. So read the itinerary carefully. Ask the company questions. Chat with people who have been on the trip. Do everything you can to make sure you get on the right trip. And then be open to the experience that unfolds.

Topics: adventure travel, miscellaneous, trip preparation

Trip Preparation: Three Organizational Strategies to Minimize Stress

Posted by Katie Flanagan on Apr 12, 2013 4:45:00 PM

My flight to Bhutan leaves in less than 20 hours – my suitcase is packed (it’s actually been packed for 7 days), work is caught up, and as far as I can tell all the “balls” I have in the air should remain in the air for the next two weeks (my fingers are crossed). I am not freaking out or driving all over town doing last minute errands. I just took my dog for a nice long walk, caught up via phone with my mom, and plan to enjoy my last evening at home with my husband.

Now – I am not saying all of this to brag – nor has every “day before a trip” been like this for me. But when working for a travel company like Adventures in Good Company, you have the chance to get your travel prep systems pretty fine-tuned. So I thought I’d share a few pre-trip organizational strategies that have worked for me.  

    Make Lists: I really don’t think I am a complete Type A personality, but I certainly have some Type A tendencies – one of those is my addiction to lists. I love making lists. Currently, under the notes function on my iPhone I have 28 different lists. I make lists early and often. I used to carry around a spiral notebook and paper planner everywhere I went until I weaned myself off of my paper dependence and transitioned to an electronic calendar and a love affair with the notes function on my phone.

    tap to note resized 600

    The subjects of my lists cover many topics – but currently, those that relate to trip preparation include:

      • Items to buy

      • Phone calls to make

      • Items to pack on departure day

      • Before I leave…

        • To do at home

        • To do at work

      • To do when I get back from the trip

      • Reminders for family when I am gone

      I compile these lists over time (i.e. 1-2 months) – when waiting for a meeting/appointment or just when things come to mind. That way I am pretty confident I have thought of most things come departure day.  

        Take Baby Steps: Do one thing each day to prepare for your trip. After you have your lists penned, it’s easy to get paralyzed with the amount of things you need to accomplish. For me, if I am overwhelmed, I shut down and may do absolutely nothing on the list. So, I negotiate with myself – I tell myself, “Just do one thing towards trip preparation today.” For example, make one phone call, do one errand. That one thing MAY turn into to two, but if not, you will still slowly chip away at the list at a pleasant pace.

            Use Existing Resources: In this day and age, there is so much information available. When you have questions, or are looking for advice from an expert – look online. You can often type in your questions and find a few reliable answers. I often research reviews of products prior to purchase it just a few clicks. “Google It” is really a great piece of advice when you are unsure where to begin with a large project or small task. There are also tons of helpful resources on the web to help you prepare. For example: http://herpackinglist.com/ is a website dedicated to travel trips for women.  And of course AGC’s International ebook which can be downloaded here below is a great resource to help you navigate the ins and outs of international travel.

              There are just two examples of items that are available to few that will help you get organized, stay focused while preparing for your trip leaving your last day at home, peaceful and worry-free.

              Our EBook will help you get ready ready for your next interational trip

              Topics: trip preparation

              Foot care on hiking and backpacking trips

              Posted by Marian Marbury on Feb 5, 2013 12:54:00 PM

              My first long backpacking trip was 40 years ago in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. The firstblister prevention week my companion had constant trouble with blisters, trying a variety of treatments that were marginally successful. In all honesty, I was not completely sympathetic - I was sure there was something she was doing wrong or she wasn't tough or she had brought the wrong boots. The second week her feet were fine and mine went all to hell. I learned two things from that: 1) blister prevention is way more effective than treatment; and 2) never be smug. Since then I've learned alot about how to keep my own and others feet happy and healthy - and really, your feet are key to a good trip. You can be in the most beautiful place imaginable but if all you can think about is how soon you can get your boots off, you aren't going to enjoy it.

              Before the trip starts

              1. Buy boots that fit well. If your feet are hard to fit, buy them from a store with trained salespeople who can help. Women often have low volume feet and wearing beefier insoles, such as Superfeet, can help keep your foot from sliding around in the boot. You can read more suggestions here. If you arrive at the start of a hike with boots that don't fit, there isn't much you can do after that.

              2. Break your boots in before the trip. Boots that are all leather take longer to break in than leather and synthetic mixtures so make sure you start in plenty of time. And insoles have a break in time too so put them in as soon as you get them.

              3. Consider liner socks. Some people always need them, some never need them, and some need them sometimes. You can read a longer post here.

              4. Trim your toenails. They should be shorter than your toes or they can get jammed into your boot and cause severe bruising of the nail bed.

              Prevention on the trip

              1. Keep your feet and your socks as clean and dry as possible. Wash your feet every evening and don't wear your socks for more than one or two days before washing them. If your socks become stiff they have a greater tendency to chafe the skin.  Clean socks also help prevent other foot ailments such as bacteria growth. Dry socks inside wet boots are better than wet socks.  If your feet are wet during the day it is important to dry them at night and either air them out with no socks while you sleep or use clean dry socks. Foot powder can be a boon to people with sweaty feet. I always carry at least 2 pairs, wearing one and drying out the other. In a very wet environment, I take 3 pairs.

              2. Say hello to your feet every morning and evening. Sit down and really look at them.  Know what your feet look like when they are healthy. Are there red places or sore spots? If there are, of if there are spots you know you are prone to developing blisters, put duct tape over that spot.

              3. Socks should fit well.  Avoid having wrinkles or lumps inside your boot, and if you feel wrinkles, stop and smooth your socks out.

              3. Soak your feet in cold water. If you're walking by a stream, take the time to pull your boots off. Not only will it feel delightful, it actually helps to prevent blisters by reducing swelling. Putting your feet up when you take a break does the same thing.

              4. If you feel a hotspot, stop and treat it immediately.  A hotspot is a place where the skin is being chafed and can quickly develop into a blister if not cared for. A simple piece of duct tape is often all you need. If the area is quite sore or red, a piece of moleskin with a hole cut out of the middle is more effective. The hole should be placed over the hotspot - this decreases the friction over that area.

              5. Change what you're wearing on your feet. If you wear liner socks and you're getting lots of hotspots, take them off. If you're not wearing liners and you're getting lots of hotspots, try wearing some.

              Blister treatment

              Sometimes no matter what you do, you get blisters. This is not a moral failing. However, they should be treated immediately.

              1. Decide if the blister needs to be popped.  It is less likely to develop infection if it is left intact. However, if it more than 3/4 inch in diameter, if it is likely to pop anyway because of it's location (which it usually is), or if the fluid is hazy, it is better to pop it in a controlled fashion that leaves a covering of skin. Typically I don't cover or pop blisters in the evening - I wait to see what they look like the next morning.

              2. If you don't need to pop the blister:  Cover the blister with a piece of mole skin cut to a size larger than the blister itself. It should have rounded edges to avoid being lifted when it is back inside you boot.  Then cut a hole slightly larger than the blister itself and place it over the blister.  If the blister is particularly tall, another piece of mole skin with a hole in it may be placed over the first. Cover the blister and mole skin with a dressing and an adhesive bandage.

              3. If you do need to pop the blister:

              • With flame-sterilized nail clippers or small scissors make a small “V” cut in the side of the blister. Make the cut at the edges of the blister where ongoing foot pressure will push out additional fluid. This allows better drainage than needle holes. Push all the fluid out with your fingers.
              • Apply a small dab of antibiotic ointment or zinc oxide to the top of the blister.
              • Directly over the blister, apply a blister patch like Spenco’s Sports Blister Pads, or a large duct tape patch with a piece of toilet paper in the middle to keep the tape from sticking to the roof of the blister.
              • After applying a patch, roll socks on and off to avoid disturbing the patch, and use a shoe horn to ease the heel into the shoe.

              Like many things, over time you will learn what works best for you!

               

              Hiking Tips for Women

              Topics: clothing and gear, hiking, safety, trip preparation

              Planning your adventure vacation itinerary

              Posted by Marian Marbury on Jan 29, 2013 8:02:00 AM

              We are in the thick of planning for 2014 and even 2015, and while planning for a group of people who are paying you is different in some respects than planning an itinerary for your partner or friends, there are still some key questions that you have to ask.

              • Where are you going to go? This can be the most difficult one. Over the years we have found that there may be a really awesome place, one with great natural beauty, fun kayaking or hiking, good accomodations - in short, perfect for the kinds of trips we like to offer - but if no one has ever heard of it, no one will sign up. You may run into something similar with friends - "What? Why would we want to go there?!!" At the same time, if you're interested in adventure travel, an itinerary that totally stays on the beaten path probably isn't appealing either. But for international trips in particular, an itinerary that starts in a major city and goes from there can be perfect. AMjor cities have better airline access and accommodation; plus you can come a day early so you have time to recover from travel fatigue and deal with lost luggage and missed flights.

                Whether you want to plan your city time probably depends on the city. Most European cities are quite easy to navigate with enough tourist information bureaus that you can decide what to do once you're there. Other cities, where the alphabet is different and few people speak English, may be more enjoyable with at least a guided tour to get you oriented.

              • Will you stay one or two places or be moving most days? There are definite advantages and disadvantages to both. Some people love staying in one or maybe two places because they find that not having to pack up is more relaxing, they like getting to know a place better, and in general it provides for a more relaxed and in depth experience. The disadvantage is that you either see less of an area or spend more time driving, unless there is lots to do from that one location. On a trip that is moving frequently, you trade off seeing more for packing more. And those trips are in depth in a different way.

                Our two trips to Switzerland are a good example. On our Day Hiking the Swiss Alps, we stay in 2 different villages. There are lots of hikes from both villages, easily accessible by public transport, and we end up seeing a lot of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and Zermatt areas. On our Swiss Alps Alpine Pass Route, we hike from village to village on old trails, passing from the Lauterbrunnen Valley into the Kiental, an area that is only a mountain pass away but has a completely different feel to it. Some of the areas we can get to are more remote and have less of a tourist feel. But at the same time, we don't have the relaxation of settling in. Which is more appealing is a totally individual decision.

              • How structured do you want it to be? On our trips we find that most people want a fairly good idea of how they will be spending each day but they don't want it so highly structured that it feels rigid. On a personal trip, you need to make the same decision. If you don't plan anything, you may find yourself uncertain about what to do, you might miss doing something very worthwhile, or you might spend so much energy trying to figure it out on site that you waste time. But if your plans are very structured, then you may not have the time to sit at the restaurant you discovered, or hike the trail a local tells you about that isn't in the guidebooks. We've found that a day that allows some time for serendipity is more rewarding than a day that is crammed full from breakfast to bedtime.

              • How much do you want to use TripAdvisor to plan your trip? There is no doubt that TripAdvisor has made it easier to avoid ending up in fleabag hotels and overpriced restaurants. When we're starting to plan a new itinerary we often use TripAdvisor to point us in the direction of what hotels or restaurants we should check out. And while there is always the issue of fraudulent reviews, TripAdvisor has been aggressive in trying to weed them out and penalize establishments that use inappropriate tactics. So if a restaurant or hotel has a lot of good reviews that don't look suspicious, it's probably a good bet.

                The potential downside, though, is that you may miss a small restaurant, a local hangout, or a brand new establishment if you leave nothing open to chance. Asking a local person or two will often get you to some gems. But ask yourself this - is the risk of a mediocre meal worth the possibility of an unexpected delight? Or will you be really bummed if that happens?


                Almost all of travel is about personal taste and preferences. Even if you decide to go with a tour group, each company has its own flavor - how big are the groups, where do they stay, how much unstructured time is there? If you're not sure what your preferences are, the only way to find out is to try something - anything - and pay attention to whether it feels right to you.


                Our EBook will help you get ready ready for your next interational trip

              Topics: adventure travel, trip preparation, international destinations

              Training Tips (Part I of III): 3 Month Sample Cardio Routine

              Posted by Katie Flanagan on Jan 10, 2013 5:00:00 AM

              2013 is underway – and for some, starting an exercise program may be among your New Year resolutions. We all know the many benefits of exercise – from improving our mood to decreasing the risk of heart disease- even preventing Alzheimer’s! And if you have registered for or are considering one of our active vacations in 2013, physical preparation for that trip may also be among your goals.

              Now, beginning a workout routine can be overwhelming – cardio, weights, stretching… oh my! Where to start, how to start, how long to exercise, and how many times in week you should exercise are common questions. Those questions do not have to be barriers to a new fitness regime or to adventure travel training. We’ve got some answers for you in the diagram below.

              But first -- here are few thoughts to keep in mind as you begin:

                • Start simple. Exercise does not have to be complicated – it can be as simple as taking a walk on your lunch hour.

                • Enjoy it. The key is finding an activity that you enjoy doing (i.e. if you dread running – don’t run) and something that fits into your daily routine (though waking up earlier or rearranging habits such as an evening full of TV may be necessary).

                • Partner-up. Finding a work out partner can be a key to success – accountability, meeting someone to walk or at the gym can make exercising a lot less arduous.

                  Now, what does a fitness regime look like? The diagram below focusses on cardio. It can be used as a guide for individuals just wanting to become more active or for those who would like to be able to enjoy one of our Level 3 adventure trips.

                  For a Trip Rated Level 3 we want to prepare your body for 4-6 hours of daily activity. In addition to the suggestions, below try to implement other movement into your day.  For example, park further away from your office building or the store, take the stairs at work, go shopping, do light housecleaning, take your dog for a walk, mow the lawn, or garden. These “everyday tasks” in conjunction with the program below will enable you to physically ENJOY the trip!

                  Stay Tuned for…

                  Part II: Rate of Perceived Exertion – What is RPE?

                  Part III: Hiking Leg Preparation – Toning Exercises for your Bottom HalfSample Cardio Routine resized 600

                  Topics: active travel, health and fitness, trip preparation

                  Three myths about training for hiking trips

                  Posted by Marian Marbury on Jan 8, 2013 5:43:00 AM

                  Arriving at a hiking trip that you're really not physically prepared for is no fun. But at the same time you don't want to unnecessarily talk yourself out of a hiking trip that you might love. Having a realistic assessment of the match between what a trip requires and whether we are or can be in that kind of shape is important, and equally important is making sure that we don't hiking Zion National Parkfall prey to these common self-defeating myths.

                  1. You don't have time to prepare. Many of us lead pretty busy lives and it can be difficult to find the time to carve out an hour every day to go to the gym, for a run, or whatever. The good news is that spending an hour a day devoted to exercise isn't essential for any but the most strenuous trips (i.e climbing Mt Kilimanjaro or Backpacking the Grand Canyon). Here are two ways to help with time management.

                  • Do intervals. Intervals are short periods of more intense aerobic activity interspersed with less intense activity. The key to successful intervals is to really push yourself to the point of discomfort during each one, so you are almost gasping for breath. Research has shown that intervals increase your endurance as effectively as longer, slower exercise - and take much less time.

                    Some examples: if you're a runner, run all out for 30 seconds followed by 1 minute of an easy jog; if you're a walker, find a hill and walk up it as quickly as possible and then walk down it; if you work out on machines (treadmill, elliptical etc), do the same thing. Gradually build up the length and number of intervals. The Mayo Clinic has a good summary article and there are other resources on the web.

                  • Do lunges and squats while you're talking on the phone, waiting in line, brushing your teeth, or watching TV. Having strong muscles to protect your knees will keep you hiking pain-free, and these are 2 critical exercises you can do in a variety of circumstances.

                  2. You live in the flatlands and there aren't any hills for training. Not all of us are lucky enough to live where there are real hills, much less mountains. Fortunately we all live near stairs - stairs in buildings, stadiums, even our own house. Yes, definitely more boring than hiking in the mountains. But all you need is 12 stairs. If you're just starting to exercise, start with going up and down the stairs a step at a time. Then start going up faster, until it's definitely an aerobic exercise for you. Then start taking two stairs at a time on the way up, but still a step at a time on the way down. Go up and down for 5 minutes, then take a quick 2 minute walk on the flat. Gradually increase the number of repetitions of the stairs/flat cycle and also the lenth of time you do stairs. This exercise, done once or twice a week in conjunction with other kinds of aerobic exercise, will help you get ready for a hiking trip with hills. Using a stair master at a gym will also help. Aerobic exercise and strenth training alone can't completely prepare you for going uphill.

                  3. You have to already be in good shape to sign up for a challenging hiking trip. Actually I hate to call this a myth because it may well be true and requires you being honest with yourself. If you know from past experience that you get really enthusiastic about ideas and make big plans for how you're going to accomplish them, but then in a short period of time you lose enthusiasm and motivation, signing up for a challenging trip just isn't a good idea. A better approach is to sign up for a trip that has some options, maybe every day having a choice between longer and shorter hikes. That way whether or not you meet your fitness goal, you can still have a great trip (example: Lodge to Lodge on the Superior Hiking Trail or Exploring Utah's National Parks in Fall.

                  On the other hand, if you respond well to having a carrot in front of you - something you really want to do - then by all means, sign up for that challenging trip now. Most of us are not all one way or the other. I am never so regularly at the gym as when I have a challenging trip on my calendar in the next 3 months. But my coworkers can tell you about my various enthusiasms that have fallen by the wayside when they didn't work out quite as I hoped or were harder to implement than I had realized.

                  Want some more hiking tips?

                  Hiking Tips for Women

                  Topics: active travel, hiking, health and fitness, trip preparation

                  Getting Ready for Kayak Tours: 5 Upper Body Exercises

                  Posted by Katie Flanagan on Nov 8, 2012 5:00:00 AM

                  Physical preparation for an adventure travel paddling trip is a great way to kick start or enhance your upper body resistance training routine. Many of us are comfortable on treadmills, elliptical machines, or walking/running outside, but fewer women regularly incorporate resistance training into workout routines. Kayaking and canoeing are great oppotunities to exercise the upper body and preparing for such activities can help create a more functional and healthy upper body. Toning your upper body can be simple; there are actually a lot of upper body exercises you can do in your home or without any fancy equipment. Below are five efficient, (and if you choose) equipment-less exercises that can help you maintain arm and core strength between paddles, or when preparing for your next adventure travel  paddling vacation. Each of the exercises incorporates both the upper body (mostly shoulders and back) and core (abdominals and obliques) simultaneously. These exercises can be done with or without hand weights. Performing them 2-3 times a week in conjunction with cardio 3-5 times per week can create a great fitness base and a paddle-ready adventure traveler.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Topics: active travel, health and fitness, trip preparation

                  Adventure Travel Training Trips: Training for Outdoor Travel Inside?

                  Posted by Katie Flanagan on Oct 11, 2012 5:00:00 AM

                  Indoor vs Outdoor Workouts resized 600

                  In most places, unbearable temperatures have made way for breezy, cool afternoons; among the perks of fall weather is the ability to get outdoors and train for your next adventure travel vacation. Before we know it, we’ll be forced back indoors by snow and ice, so we must take advantage of this weather… right? Well, maybe for some… or for some, sometimes. Personally, I enjoy morning runs outdoors with friends but even in the best weather conditions, an indoor workout beckons. Though, I often end up feeling a need to convince myself that it is ok to exercise indoors when it’s beautiful outside (this is not a fun mental guilt trip - its hard enough getting motivated to exercise). So instead playing that mental game, I give myself permission to go with my mood; I try to listen to my body and exercise where I led. I find that if I force myself to exercise in a way that goes against the grain of my gut, I will likely dread the notion and ultimately skip working out. So my mantra: Do what works for you and what works is different for everyone and also may be different for you depending on the season, day, or time.  If the bustle of rush hour and scents of dinner prep put a skip in your step – remind yourself of that and head outdoors. If watching Good Morning America while in motion gets you up in moving, go with it. The main point is moving that body and training for your next adventure travel vacation.
                  Here are is my mental pro/con list that helps me move with my mood.

                  Outdoors
                  • Uneven surfaces and wind resistance improve stability and best simulate adventure travel activities
                  • Good thinking time; reflect and breath in nature’s beauty
                  • You can bring your dog along!
                  • Get exterior home improvement ideas from houses you pass
                  • Vitamin D = healthy bones and a longer active life
                  • It’s free!
                  Indoors
                  • If you live in a mostly flat area, then a treadmill’s incline setting are ideal for training
                  • The bathroom is close and water fountain too
                  • You can get your morning news fix or catch up on your favorite evening sitcoms – just remember your headphones (laughing is extra cardio)
                  • If you like to socialize and sweat but you and a friend prefer different paces, then you can use adjacent machines and set them to different speeds/inclines
                  • The mere presence of other gym-goers around you often act as motivation
                    Compiled from:
                  http://liveu.syr.edu/exercise-indoors-or-out/ http://blogs.amway.com/thehealthadvocate/2010/03/04/whats-better-exercising-indoors-or-outdoors/

                  Topics: active travel, health and fitness, trip preparation