Making The Most Out Of a Workout While Camping
The last thing most people think about when camping is their fitness regime. However, most people aren’t really all that into fitness. If you’re the type of person that watches their health and enjoys exercising, you’ll want to maintain your fitness level even while you’re out there in the wild wilderness. This might seem like a relatively difficult task considering there’s no gym equipment nor kitchen out there, but it’s still manageable. You should try to make the most out of this situation. Here are some ideas that can help you keep your exercising streak while camped out in the great outdoors.
It’s all about location
When you’re out there in the wilderness, it’s hard to get a good workout going. You have all the motivation in the world, but something isn’t quite right. It could be the tall grass making it hard to get anywhere near the floor, or it could be that the forest is a little too thick to run in. It’s both of these things and much more. You quickly realize that location is pretty important for a quality workout, which is why you need to set the stage for yourself. Picking your workout location wisely will give you the opportunity to comfortably do your full workout.
Hiking trails make cardio easier
There are few activities that are quite as healthy as hiking. The warm sun and fresh air only bolster your motivation as you’re running through a nice natural environment. You don’t need much gear outside of a pair of running shoes, which you might already be wearing if the weather is pleasant. It’s as simple as waking up, getting out of your tent, and locating the nearest hiking trail to get the workout you need.
Most camping sites will have at least one hiking trail you can use for your recreation. Hiking trails are tried-and-tested running spots, so you don’t have to worry about them being unmanageable. Scope out some popular hiking trails online, it’s your best bet for finding one that suits you. People often leave reviews and mention any drawbacks to a hiking trail. If different weather might significantly affect it, you’ll know whether or not to avoid it.
Biking lets you cover more ground
Speaking of trails, there’s bound to be a biking trail somewhere near your campsite. If you’re like a lot of nature-enthusiasts, you might have brought your mountaineering bike with you for this camping trip. It’s a great way to get your workout mojo on and cover a lot of ground in the great outdoors.
Biking through nature is even more convenient than walking or hiking. You don’t put any pressure on your joints and there’s very little risk of tripping on something or getting your joint twisted. You get to see all the sights you wanted to visit because a bike goes a lot faster than walking speed. More importantly, this is something that everyone on your trip can enjoy. If they brought their bikes, it’s the easiest way to get everyone working out with relative ease.
Working out on solid ground
If you prefer stationary exercises, you’re going to need a good surface to work with. While hiking and biking trails are pretty obvious when you come across them, finding the ideal workout surface might take you a while.
Obviously, you'll want to find a clearing where there's very little grass or shrubs. It's hard to do a push-up when the grass is constantly tickling you. The uneven ground makes it dangerous to do things like squats and lunges. If your camping site includes a mountain area, chances are that there are at least a few flat rocky surfaces that you can use. This would be the ideal place for practising any callisthenics or weight-assisted exercises.
Workouts worth doing
If you prefer to stay in one spot when working out, you'll need to know which exercises you can do efficiently while camping. This depends on a lot of factors, including the workout clothes you might have. Surprisingly, it's pretty easy to cover all of your exercise bases and work out in regular camping clothes. You should familiarize yourself with your most essential workouts, as there's no gym equipment out there.
There are few exercises that are as good for your legs as lunges. They provide you with strength in your quads and hamstrings, while also working your calves a little bit. What’s most important for outdoor workouts is that lunges are pretty easy to do. You don’t need a surface that’s particularly flat, nor do you need one that is very clean. You can just start doing your exercise while in full camping gear, as long as your pants allow for some deeper lunges. Do several sets of proper lunges anywhere and your legs will definitely feel pumped-up.
There’s nothing more satisfying than the classic push-up. This chest workout is an essential part of any exercise regime. If you want your pecs to stay in good shape, you need to do your regular push-ups.
For this workout, you might need to find a clearing in the ground. You don't want a nostril full of grass as you're descending down. Plus, a smoother surface like a rock would make the exercise go easier on your hands since there are no prickly plants involved. If you're lucky enough to find a workout environment like this, consider finding a rock as well. This will allow you to a push-up with your feet raised, emphasizing those upper-pectoralis muscles. A chair or bench would be much more convenient, so try to find an area near trails that has one.
If you happen to find a chair or bench of sorts, tricep dips will become your primary tricep and back exercises. Keep your hips right in front of the seat and get at it. Three sets of a dozen or so reps will make definitely work your triceps. Just make sure your shoulders don’t go deeper than your elbows.
Every workout has to include some ab muscle exercises. You need to keep those abs strong for a good six-pack. Plus, abs are crucial for core strength and back posture, so they shouldn't be disregarded no matter what your goal is.
Luckily, you have exercises like planks, which are relatively easy to do in any environment. You just find a relatively flat place to work with and you’re pretty much set. Place your elbows and shoulders above your hands, tighten those ab muscles, and try to hold it for a minute or two. You'll feel the burn pretty quickly.
Better yet, you might want to do some rotation planks for variety. There are lots of ab muscles that need extra involvement for a better form. As you’re in a plank position, lift one hand and rotate it upwards. It’s going to activate and work multiple ab muscles. Take it down and use your other hand and then repeat. It’s nearly enough to keep your ab muscles fit while you’re camping.
Sit-ups & crunches
Sit-ups are more active exercises, compared to planks. They give you a lot of burn for some pretty short sets. You can do sit-ups pretty much anywhere, even if there’s lots of grass beneath you. Though, sit-ups aren’t considered the best ab exercises out there. They aren’t very good for your neck and you shouldn’t overdo them.
Instead, try to alternate between sit-ups and crunches. Crunches are a lot more difficult no matter where you’re doing them, but they provide a pretty healthy and balanced ab workout. You can do them with your legs in the air or use your legs instead of moving much of your body. Any variation works and you’ll see some great results either way.
Nutrition and gear
If your vehicle and bags allow for it, you should always try to bring some exercise gear with you to your campsite. This includes things like a fold-up bike, yoga mat, small weights, or gym clothes. Any one of these items would make exercising a lot easier in the wilderness, so why not bring at least one with you?
More importantly, you need to think about your nutrition. There’s no fitness without the nutrition to back it up. You have to provide your body with all the nutrients it requires to stimulate muscle growth and recover from workouts.
Resistance bands are some of the most practical pieces of workout gear you can find. They're lightweight, small, and require nearly no set-up for your workout. You can do some pretty diverse exercising with the help of some resistance bands.
Every muscle group can benefit from this piece of gear. You can attach a band to a tree and do bicep curls without issues. At the same time, you can do face pulls and work your back and deltoids. Find some lower branches and you can do some very interesting leg exercises as well. It’s too practical to disregard, so try to bring a couple of these when you go camping.
Most of the problems that come with working out while camping stem from not having any viable ground to work out on. If everything is uneven or dirty, you can’t do certain exercises. Well, you can if you have a yoga mat with you.
They might take up a little bit of space, but folded up they can fit snuggly into any backpack. You get quite a few benefits from working out on a yoga mat. First and foremost, you won’t scratch your hands, back, or neck while working out on the ground. Bring one along with you and you won’t regret it.
As any fitness enthusiast will tell you, protein plays a critical role in bodybuilding and weight loss. It’s not without reason that most people that dabble in fitness consume some form of organic protein. It provides you with enough easy-to-process nutrients which help you build muscle and recover from a heavy workout.
When camping in the outdoors, you should consider bringing organic protein oats along with you. You get everything you need from a cup of protein oats mixed with milk or water. It’s not just protein either. You also get some healthy fibres out of the mix as well. God knows it’s difficult to maintain healthy nutrition out there in the wilderness, especially without a stove or microwave to back you up. Eating fibre is especially important, but pretty challenging in the middle of nowhere. The good news is that protein oats can keep you well-fed and healthy for quite a few days before you head back home.
Alongside protein oats, nuts are considered just as practical and healthy to bring along with you when camping. They’re dry so you don’t have to worry about them rotting or getting mushed up along the way. Plus, they’re chock-full of many different healthy nutrients that you need for your workouts.
Everything from healthy fats to minerals is featured in these small snacks. You can bring a ton of almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts, and now even sacrifice much of your bag for it. Another great benefit is that they provide you with lots of energy, which his something you definitely need before and after a workout. In these strenuous circumstances in the outdoors, nuts provide you with everything you need, and they’re pretty easy to pack as well.
All in all, it’s not very difficult to maintain a fitness regime while you’re camping in the wilderness. You might not have your usual gym machines or fitness gear with you, but you don’t really need it all that much. It’s a relatively short period and you can easily make the most of it with some dedication and adaptability. As long as you have your usual enthusiasm and some creativity, you can make any area a workout spot. Keep the above tips in mind the next time you go camping, as they could help your workouts go a lot smoother.