Body Care

Strength & Flexibility

Want to enjoy outdoor sports more? Develop and follow a plan that will help you prepare for your intended activity. A combination of yoga, weight training, and aerobic conditioning will provide a good foundation. Much of this work can be done through activity-specific routines such as taking progressively longer and faster walks, rides, weighted backpacking excursions, etc.

Before you Begin
Build a support team to help you with your endeavors. Do some research to select qualified coaches, teachers and mentors. A shoulder to cry on and voice to keep you going may not be a bad idea. Most importantly, check with a physician before starting any new physical fitness program and add that physician to your team.

Online Resources

Yoga Journal
A one-stop resource for yoga teachers and practitioners since 1975.

Basic Yoga Flow Video
This 30-minute video by Tim Senesi includes several common poses in a structured sequence while featuring useful comments on alignment. There are a couple of advanced poses demonstrated so feel free to do an easier variation during these.

One-Stop Yoga Videos for Hikers Backpackers & More
A vast assortment of free yoga routines with various yoga teachers are offered by
Do Yoga With Me.

Keep in mind that videos are a convenient aid for practicing but cannot compare with the two-way interaction offered by certified real-life teachers with regards to getting feedback.

Some Tips for Strength & Flexibility
For yoga to be effective, you are encouraged to develop at 20-30 minute daily practice (minimum). Try several classes with a few reputable yoga teachers to help you gather ideas and then assemble some favorite poses that can fit into your daily schedule. Pick the best time of day and stick with that time until it becomes second nature. It is best to pick a combination of poses that will address the major parts of your body involved with outdoor sports, such as hips, feet, ankles, shoulders, back, neck, and core. A proper warm up and respecting your physical limits are essential to avoiding injury. Breath work is also important so try finding a teacher with knowledge in this practice (pranayama). Life does tend to get busy so it’s OK if you miss a day here and there. The 20-30 minute recommendation does not include centering (sitting meditation) in the beginning or savasa (corpse pose) at the end so add 5-10 minutes if you want them to be a part of your practice. If you have a teacher willing to review your plan, be sure to get that feedback. Once again, check with your physician before embarking on any physical fitness practice, especially if you have any injuries. Additionally, take classes periodically with registered yoga teachers who teach alignment principles. They can help you assess how you are doing, keeping you on the right track.