A Warm-up Primer
When the mountains come calling, it’s time to lace up the hiking boots and hit the trail. The peaks in the Tyrolean mountains are big, so how do you best prepare to scale their heights? The one guy who knows all the answers is our very own ZillerSeasons’ personal trainer.
It’s time to get out of the house and into the mountains, but only with the proper equipment and physical condition, worth considering before heading out the door. Also important to remember is that stretching before or after hiking doesn’t have any advantages – rather the opposite. Those who aren’t in the best shape can even do more harm by stretching. A few proper leg squats after waking up is a good way to warm up. It’s always best to start with an easy hike. Getting out there and doing it on a regular basis is the best way to train. Another good practice before going hiking is the one legged stand. You can try this even while brushing your teeth!
Before making that first step out the door, take a seat at the breakfast table. The body needs good carbohydrates like dark seeded breads which provide lasting energy.
Now let’s talk about your backpack. The first rule is, don’t pack it too full. You’d be surprised what people bring, often stuff you don’t need which translates into a heavier load on shoulders, back and joints. The strong ones should carry the most weight. Another basic rule is to go only as high/far in order to able to make it back down safely. Don’t underestimate the descent, especially if you have knee issues, because it’s the most strenuous part of the hike for the joints. I advise taking smaller, manageable steps, don’t hop, leap or bound, a nice gentle walk is best. Ideally, the footpads should touch the ground first, then the heels.
Over Hill and Dale
I recommend hiking poles. They help with strength training on the ascent and they are valuable for descending the mountain in their support of knees and joints. Hiking poles are designed for all fitness levels and ages – even for young people.
To avoid muscle soreness, the only preventative remedy is getting out there and training. So if you’re planning a hiking holiday, I advise starting your work-out program 2-3 months in advance. If you do get sore and stiff muscles after a day’s hike, please don’t stretch because it only irritates the tiny muscle tears, aggravating the condition. What you can do is eat healthy food and get good rest after a hike. Go to bed early! The more time your body has to recover during sleep, the better you’ll feel the next day. Drink a lot of fluids, this keeps your body hydrated and more alkaline. The delicious Austrian dessert and mountain-hut favorite Kaiserschmarrn is something you can indulge in without guilt...and it’s full of rib-sticking carbs.
Personal Tips from the Trainer
Once a week I train with the ZillerSeasons team members. We do a group training almost always outdoors. It’s important they know the proper training methods and how it applies to movement at the workplace. We deal with issues like how to lift properly; gentle movements for back and knees, and which posture is best for standing long hours or walking. The training they learn can be applied on the job, so it’s more than just a typical work-out. My personal tip for hiking in the Zell area is the ‘Kraus Promenade.’ This is a good training circuit where we often go jogging. The path begins at the base station of the Rosenalmbahn (cable car) and does a nice 1-hour loop.
Starting in October 2017, Johannes Wechselberger will be regularly available twice a week to ZillerSeasons guests. He will delight in personally guiding your outdoor and indoor activities in our new and enlarged fitness room where you will find state-of-the-art equipment. Everything you need to get a move on including treadmills, CrossTrainer, PowerPlate, dumbbells and mats for movement arts and floor gymnastics.