Our aim is for you to BREATHE IN THE HIGH COUNTRY and EXHALE THE EXPERIENCE. We want you to have a great time on your hike and to enjoy every moment of it.
The better prepared you are for your hike, the more you are going to enjoy it, and that is why you need to make sure that you are fit enough to complete the hike that you have selected.
We have hikes for all levels of fitness. Our Discovery Hikes and hikes such as Remote Ritchie’s Hut and Timbertop Summit Loop are nice and easy and anyone who is willing to come along will be able to complete it. And, if you want to tackle something more challenging, we have that too.
We will help you complete any tour you have selected, but you are the one who needs to determine if you are physically and mentally fit enough to take on a hiking challenge.
Hiking is not only challenging physically, but is also challenging mentally. Often the mental challenge overtakes the physical one. Carrying everything you need on your back, being exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, tackling sometimes steep terrain and finding yourself in a remote area, these can all have effects on your mental state. But, we are here to support you and help you through these challenges and give you the opportunity to take on this experience and enjoy what the Victorian High Country has to offer.
Here are some tips to help you get ready for an adventure of a life time.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. It takes time to get your body ready for a hike. It can take anywhere up to 3 months before you start seeing a significant improvement, depending on your existing fitness and how many hours a week you can dedicate to getting fit.
2. Work on your cardiovascular fitness. Brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling are all great aerobic activities. Hi-intensity interval training is also very beneficial as it improves both aerobic and anaerobic fitness getting your body ready for the bursts of extra energy you will need on your ascents.
3. Focus on strength, especially leg strength. Being physically strong, especially having good leg strength, will benefit you greatly on your hike. Lunges, squats and calf raises are good way to build up strength in your legs. Putting few bottles of water inside your backpack when going for a walk is another way to build up strength. You can increase the amount of water you are carrying each time you go for a walk.
4. Work on your core and your balance. Your abdominal muscles, back muscles and pelvic muscles are your core muscles, which give you balance and flexibility. Planks, sit ups, crunches and Russian twists are some of the exercises that will help you build a strong core. Practice some balancing exercises such as standing on one foot for 30 seconds before switching to the other foot. Increase the time as you get better at it. Try it with your eyes closed, once you’ve gained confidence.
5. Go on few practice hikes. If you have purchased one of our multi day tours, it is recommended that you go on few short hikes. Put few essentials in your backpack and throw in few water bottles to add some weight. Large parks and reserves are perfect to practice in. They might not be as hilly as the high country, but they are a good training ground and it’s also a great opportunity to test your boots.
6. Prepare yourself mentally. It is easy to doubt yourself, thinking that you are not capable of completing the hike you have selected. Concentrate on your goal, think about why you are doing this and what you want to take away from it. It might be the sunset, or the adventure or simply the experience of it all. Keep the why firmly in your mind when you are feeling doubtful or discouraged, not only during your training, but also on the hike. Being well prepared physically will add to your confidence. We all doubt ourselves at some point of our lives, but taking on challenges and the unknown only makes us stronger.
You don’t have to be an athlete and be in a top shape to have a memorable experience on our hikes, but with little upfront preparation, you will feel more confident. It doesn’t matter how you feel at the start of the hike, but at the end, you will feel satisfied and proud of what you have accomplished.
If you need some help with getting fit and ready for your hike, contact Shane at Australian Boxing & Fitness Academy via their website at www.abfa.com.au. Shane has been my coach and mentor for number of years. Whilst his training programs provide me with the fitness and strength I need, the boxing sessions help me with balance and decision making. All this put together allows me to fully enjoy myself while hiking and gives me the confidence I need in mountaineering and high altitude climbing.
After the hike, if you feel like your body needs some adjustments, go and see Jason and Lauren at Lifespan Osteopathy. They will make you feel like you’ve been born again. Visit their website at www.lifespanosteopathy.com.au to make an appointment. Jason has been looking after my knees and back for many years and has helped me enjoy long multi day hikes and mountaineering adventures all around the world.