Living the Colorado Lifestyle
The Colorado Lifestyle
All the snow is finally gone and the sun is out (for good, finally) and Coloradans are getting active! Here are some summertime challenges, their health benefits, and some tips to prepare:
● Benefits: Cardio workout, strengthens upper legs and core, especially on steep inclines or when carrying a pack
● Prep: Hiking is pretty simple; if you can walk, you can do it outside in the woods. Climbing a 14er or hikes over 4-5 miles, however, will require some practice. Climbing stairs is a great way to strengthen the same muscles you use to climb a mountain but don’t neglect practicing going down! Typically, descents are harder on the joints. They also incorporate different muscle groups than climbing.
● Benefits: Promotes balance, flexibility, and full-body muscle strength.
● Prep: A lot of this depends on what style of climbing you’re doing but after you get all your gear in order practice isometric strength exercises like planks and wall sits. After you get those down, add a balance element by picking up one foot. Grip strength is essential so practice hanging from bars or ledges. Do a thorough forearm stretch and warm-up before you climb to avoid the dreaded “flash pump.”
● Benefits: Upper-body and core strength, swimming skills (if you’re unlucky)
● Prep:Use dumbbells or cables to strengthen your core with twisting exercises. Also, stretching the pectorals and strengthening the upper back promotes good posture which will make you more comfortable sitting in a raft and give your paddle strokes more power.
● Benefits: High-intensity cardio, leg and core strength
● Prep: Whether you’re sprinting the bleachers at Red Rocks or trying for a new PB on the Manitou Incline, hill running hills is all about maximal aerobic capacity. Interval training is an effective way to expose your body to near-maximal intensity for a short period of time and it is proven to be effective at increasing heart strength.