Monday, July 21, 2014

How Physically Prepared Are You For Hiking?

During our July meeting, Allisa Hill presented some valuable information regarding physical conditioning for a hike.  Here are some of her main points.

What you do before you hike the trails makes a difference between pleasure and pain. Hiking is fun until you’re only halfway up the steep trail and you start experiencing things like back ache, low energy, muscles quivering and burning lungs.   Going downhill may be easy on your lungs.  But your legs are working harder to prevent you from falling forward and this may equal knee pain.  Even if you walk regularly, the demands of hiking hills and rough terrain require more from your cardiovascular system, your muscles, and even your balance.  Proper body conditioning is important and can reduce injuring occurrence. 

Priming the heart is important.  To get proper aerobic conditioning for a 5-mile hike, one should walk 30-45 minutes, 3 days a week, varying the incline.  On the fourth day, lengthen the walk and make sure you go outside on hilly terrain simulating "real" conditions. 

Each week increase walking until your doing at least 2/3 of the distance of your first hike.  Example: 3-1/2 miles if you’ll be hiking 5 miles.

Other aerobic conditoners are: jogging, sprints,stair climbers, and elliptical machines.  Any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up and you start to sweat is suggested.

You need to build balance, flexibility, and strength in your legs and back.  To prepare your muscles try leg squats, step-up/downs, front/back lunges, shoulder shrugs, core body/back extensions, and stretches (8-12 reps each, 3-5 days a week.) 

Total body conditioning is important, and a good way to tone all of the areas needed to increase fitness and reduce injury.  There are many local opportunities for total body conditioning.  Check with EAC or local gym facilities.  They offer a wide range of fitness classes, schedules, and provide good motivation.  Consider swimming, yoga, chi gong, physio-ball, aerobics, weight lifting, and general physical conditioning. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gila Valley Hiking Club Home

Come Enjoy the Outdoors

The Gila Valley Hiking Club (GVHC) is a new organization set to explore and enjoy the magnificent country surrounding the upper Gila River valley, in the southeastern Arizona (and eventually places beyond.) 

The Gila Valley is nestled at the base of The PinaleƱo Mountains, a remote mountain range within the Coronado National Forest.  To the locals the mountain range is known simply as "Mt. Graham." This "sky island" rises dramatically from the desert floor, supporting a biologically diverse ecology representative of the ecology encountered on a trip from Mexico to Canada. There is over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of vertical relief, more than any other range in the state.  Mt. Graham is also home of the most powerful telescope in the world, The Large Binocular Telescope. 

The mountains and  surrounding desert offer outstanding scenery, wildlife, rich history, and opportunities for recreation that beckon adventurers who yearn for solitude and scenic splendor. We seek to promote and share the availability and nature of great hiking trails in our area.  
Join us for a hike or two to see if you'd like to become a member! Club membership is open to all. Join us in experiencing the great outdoors.