I was recently in Vancouver and decided to take my fitness routine off the beaten path by climbing the Grouse Grind. “The Grind” is stunning 2.9 km trail leading up the face of Grouse Mountain, with 2830 stairs to be conquered to an elevation of 3700 feet. The information center at the site claims that an hour and a half is a respectable time to reach the top for an average hiker…I did it in 53 minutes! I consider myself to be in good shape but that climb was like doing an hour on the step mill at the highest setting and left me very humbled by the experience. I have put together a couple quick tips for novice hikers to help you out on the trails this summer.
1) Engage in regular cardiovascular activity. 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio, 3 to 5 times a week, to help build endurance and coordination.
2) Build lean muscle mass, both upper and lower body, to increase strength and reduce the chance of injury.
3) Eat healthy and balanced meals. Low fat, lean protein and dairy, as well as, plenty of fruits and veggies. Don’t forget whole grain carbohydrates! They provide fuel for your body and will get you through that extra mile.
4) Practice your hiking endurance. Start with smaller trips to allow your body to become accustomed to moving over uneven terrain.
5) Don’t overwork yourself and rest as needed. Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated and be cautious if you are heading into unknown hiking areas.
Have fun and take advantage of the fantastic weather!