What do you need to do to get in shape to hike in the Alps?
Expert Advice from a Personal Trainer
Before you embark on the trip of your dreams, ensuring you have the right physical training will help you make the most of every minute while your barreling through your bucket list.
To help many people answer the question, “What do I need to do to be ready to hike in the Alps?” We spoke with Becki Rupp, a personal trainer who specializes in getting guests in “mountain-top shape”.
Q 1 : When is the best time to start training for a hiking trip?
As soon as possible! That said, if you can’t start right away – maybe due to recovering from an injury or inclement weather where you live – aim to start specific training for the trip at least 3 months before your departure. If the overall distance and number of days you’ll be hiking is much longer than you’ve done recently, then start sooner.
If there’s a significant gap between what you do now and what you’ll be doing on your trip, consider working with a coach or a trainer to develop a specific training plan. Ideally you should increase the amount of hiking you do gradually before your trip.
Depending on your overall health, adding 5-10% to the distance you hike each week is a good guideline. Plus, you should include stair climbing and hill hiking to prepare for the terrain.
Q 2: What should everyone know before they sign up for a hiking vacation?
Before you sign up for a hiking vacation, you should know:
- Itinerary specifics – How far you’ll be hiking, ascent, descent, and rerouting options for each day.
- How much you’ll carry in your backpack – Including gear, clothing, water and food. If you’re with a group, you may be able to divide up gear, like first aid materials. (Excellent news: On guided Alpenwild tours, we provide luggage transfers so you can hike light during the days. Luggage transfers are optional add-ons for those on self-guided tours.)
- Terrain – if your trip has sections of bouldering or exposure, then work on balance and leg strength.
With those details, you can determine if it’s a vacation you have time to prepare for and enjoy. If you’re in good health and fairly active, and you have several months to prepare, you can expect a rewarding alpine experience. If you have had health issues or are not active, you may want to consult with your doctor and fitness professionals (physical therapist, personal trainer or health coach) on options for preparing for the trip you have in mind.
Q 3: Who would benefit from working with a personal trainer or health coach before a trip?
- Haven’t been active for a while
- Have had health issues or injuries
- Are feeling uneasy about the amount of activity on your trip
…then you may want to work with a personal trainer or health coach to make a plan for success.
A personal trainer can build a routine for you with specific exercises that will help you prepare for what you’ll be doing on your trip. They can customize the plan based on your medical history and current activity level, and adjust it as you make progress.
Q 4: How did you end up training people to get ready for hiking trips?
I had been searching for a more direct way to help people get healthier through physical activity, and combine that with my love of travel and the outdoors. Finally, I decided to start my own business to bring that all together and help people get in shape for active trips.
There you have it! The answer to get you on your way to mountain-top shape. If you haven’t already, follow Alpenwild (@alpenwild) on social media for excellent content to remind you to get in shape for your alpine adventure. See you in the Alps!
Becki specializes in helping people recapture their energy and love for the outdoors. Whether you’re getting back in shape after surgery recovery or you’ve discovered your love of the mountains a little late in life, Becki can help you reach your goals. You can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org