Image of the March 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
March 2018 Issue
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Warming-up before you tramp

A cold morning means cold muscles, ripe for injury – warm up before you start walking. Photo: Tony Gazley
Our bodies get a serious workout while tramping and warming-up before starting out can help prevent injuries and pain

It’s good to move your body through the range of movement without a heavy pack on before you begin the strenuous effort of tramping.

One of the best things you can do is dynamic stretching. Dynamic means stretching while moving instead of holding a position. Focus on the ankles, knees, hips and back because they do most of the hard work.

These movements can be done with your boots on:

  • Stand with your hands on your hips. Reach your right hand up and over your head then to the left, bending sideways as you inhale. When you exhale, bring your hand back to your hip. Do both sides several times.
  • From the same position, reach your right hand across your body at the height of your shoulder and twist your body slightly left as you exhale.  When you inhale, bring your hand back. Do both sides several times.
  • Step your feet wide apart. Shift your weight side to side from your left foot to your right foot while bending and straightening your knees. Gradually make the movement bigger. Bend the knees more until you can touch the ground side to side.

At the end of the day, use static stretches – where you hold a specific position for about 15 to 30 seconds. Focus on parts of your body that are more likely to get tight or feel pain in the morning, like your hips, upper legs, shoulders and back.

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