Whether you’re going to trek through thick Amazonian jungle, head out on a Vespa tour around Spain, snorkel a shipwreck in Bali or climb a glacier in Iceland, you want to start your adventure with the confidence that you will enjoy it – and that involves being strong enough to overcome any challenges that appear along the way.
With that in mind, we sought the sage counsel of Scott Laidler [pictured above], an online fitness coach with a ten-year background in the fitness industry that has seen him work in three continents with clients from over 30 countries. He now predominantly works within the UK film industry where he gets leading men and women in shape for their film roles, and also writes a weekly column with The Telegraph. Here, he reveals the smart ways you can get fit for any big 2018 adventure, whatever your goal.
Mountain climbing? Try step ups
“Step ups are good for training the explosiveness of leg muscles. Not only will they continue to increase your overall body strength, but you will be faster, have a higher vertical jump and quicker reactions. Plus, if you head out to somewhere high altitude, having firm leg muscle and a solid base can help you feel more confident scaling your ‘Everest’.”
Cycling trip? Try spin bike sprints
“Increase your cardio fitness with HIIT on a bike. Set yourself the goal of going faster and increasing distance as the sessions go on. Included in your regular weekly training regime, it can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance. Better yet, join a spinning class and enjoy being part of a team challenge.”
Quad biking or paddling? Try shoulder exercises
“Upper body strength is as important as lower body, not least when you are paddling a kayak, or pulling yourself into a boat from the water, or when you’re driving that quad bike along mountain trails. Build up your upper body strength by adding in a variety of shoulder exercises into your workout plan.”
Carrying weight on your back? Try planking
“Planks are predominantly known as good core building exercises, but they also work the rest of the body at the same time, improving the overall ability to move and push yourself further. It should also improve posture which is important when carrying large backpacks over long distances, preventing injury. Plank can also not only improve flexibility but also balance, so is a great all-rounder.”
Snorkeling and diving? Try underwater swims
“No around-the-world tour is complete without at least some time spent snorkelling or diving, so before you set off for your travels, be sure to practice your underwater swimming at your local pool. Start with trying to make a full length and go from there. This will obviously help you get really fit, but more than that it’ll help you feel comfortable underwater and lacking a little oxygen, which should translate to confident snorkeling.”
Hiking tour? Try cross country runs
“Increase your overall fitness by getting into the outdoors and challenging yourself to cross country runs. Yep, forget the treadmill and head to somewhere muddy, as the only thing that will prepare you for proper hiking is the outdoors and all that comes with it, including varying weather conditions. The challenge of hills and alternating surfaces will further increase your strength and agility as well as your overall fitness.”
Back and neck pain? Try the Pilates roll up
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“Travelling on planes, trains and automobiles can play havoc on the back, neck and shoulders. The roll up can help free up tension between your vertebrae and reset your posture, make sure you roll up your spine as if link by link on a chain, go as slow as possible. If you use this exercise before and after every long trip, you should be in good stead!”