Spring Into Hiking
There’s nothing like fresh mountain air and beautiful terrain. But hiking can be hard on your body and knees if you’re not conditioned – especially with the challenging inclines here in the Gorge, Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Hood area.
So try some of the following exercises to get you in tip-top hiking shape:
Dog Mountain will be a piece of cake for you this year!
Start by standing behind a step or bench with one foot on the bench. Slowly step up onto the bench concentrating on pushing from the leg that’s on the step, standing tall, and keeping abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise. Control the lowering portion so that only your toes lightly touch the floor. Repeat on both sides for 13-20 reps. To increase or decrease intensity either raise or lower the bench height. Using weights for added resistance will also challenge the legs to a greater degree.
Stand with one leg positioned in front of the other leg in a lunge position holding handweights. Keep the front knee over top of the front ankle and the back knee underneath or slightly behind hips. Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle the entire time. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable – the lowest point should be when your knee is at a 90-degree angle or your upper thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your body weight positioned over the front leg – this is the working leg. Return to the starting position and then push right off the back foot – balance for 1-2 seconds on the supporting leg. Repeat 13-20 reps on each side.
Find a pole and hold onto it with arms fully extended. Balance onto one leg, keep your front knee over top of your ankle as you slowly squat backwards as low as feels comfortable. Perform 13-20 reps each leg.
If you will be doing some aggressive and/or overnight hiking with a heavy backpack, wear a loaded backpack during these exercises to get you ready for the weight.
My favorite local hikes that progress from easier to harder throughout the season include:
- Beacon Rock 2 mile hike (Washington Side gorge)
- Mirror Lake 3 mile hike (Mt. Hood)
- Triple Falls & Horsetail Falls 4 mile loop (Oregon Side gorge)
- Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls 5 mile loop (Portland side gorge)
- Hamilton Mountain 9 mile loop (Washington Side gorge)
- Dog Mountain 8 mile hike (Washington side gorge)
- Mt. St. Helens Summit – 10 miles (Washington)
That should keep you busy for a few months! Enjoy the majestic views and take a moment to be thankful for what a beautiful area we live in!
Ps. We are taking a group of people to hike Coyote Wall on June 25th……. join us!
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.
Join us for the RUN TO REMEMBER (May 28th 9am – Downtown Washougal, WA) Join us for this Memorial Day Mile and 5k/10k running and walking event on Memorial Day weekend that will benefit Battle Buddies, an organization that provides Service Dogs for our Veterans. Let us honor the brave men and women who have or are currently serving in our Armed Forces and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.