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9 Exercises That Will Help You Conquer the Mountains This Summer

Fairmont Banff Springs

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Hiking is one is the best ways to explore Banff National Park, with over a thousand kilometers of established trails in and around the Town of Banff. At an elevation of 1,400m (4,600ft) climbing even the most modest hill can be a real challenge. To help you on your next hike to marvel at the beautiful alpine forests or sparkling waters of glacier-fed lakes, we asked the fitness experts at the Willow Stream Spa for their advice. They suggest these 9 exercises to help you conquer the mountains this summer!

1. Kettlebell Swings - This exercise helps you burn calories and sculpt a lean body. They are great for strengthening glutes and quads which are essential for long hikes in the mountains.

2. Burpees - Burpees are the perfect way to improve your fitness and help reduce excess body fat, allowing you to carry less on your hike. Research found that a 180 pound person could burn almost 1.5 calories per burpee!

3. Jumping Rope – Jumping rope gets your heart rate up quickly and improves balance as well as coordination and fitness. A moderate intensity jump rope session burns on average 13 calories a minute!

4. Walking Uphill With A Load – Grab your backpack, fill it with water, snacks and goodies then head uphill. Walking on an incline with a load improves posture and overall conditioning.

5. Walking Lunges – Lunges are not only great for building strength and stability through the knee joint, they also help you hike more efficiently and minimize your chances of injury on the trail.

6. Rowing - Rowing is one of the most intense, and effective exercises you can add to your pre-hike preparation. Add just 5 minutes to your routine, (pushing hard for 20 seconds each minute) to see an improvement in stamina and recovery.

7. Mountain Climbers - As the name suggests this exercise helps you prepare for climbing mountains by increasing your core strength and aerobic fitness. Perfect for those long hard scrambles!

8. Wall Sit - Great for increasing lower body strength for those long/steep climbs and descents.

9. Calf Raises - Helps to increase ankle and calf strength. The stronger your ankles, the less likely you are to turn or twist them when walking over uneven terrain. Be sure to stretch your calves after finishing this exercise.


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