Getting Fit for Active Travel

Have you ever planned a big summer hiking trip only to realize you are not quite in shape for it?  Year after year?  Nope, just me?  This is a chronic habit of mine, which worked OK in my 20’s and 30’s, but the older I get, the more important it is to be well prepared so I can enjoy my travel adventures and avoid injuries. When I found Fit For Trips, a personal training company that tailors fitness programs specifically for outdoor adventures, I knew I had to reach out. For someone like me, who dreams of exhilarating adventures, but frequently falls off the fitness wagon in favor of Netflix and Chicago deep-dish, it’s just what I need to get ready for my summer hiking trip to the Swiss Alps!

“Since 2009, Fit for Trips has crafted over 1000 customized fitness programs that prepare adventure travelers to conquer the trip of a lifetime.”

Fit For Trips Programs

Fit For Trips offers 4, 8 or 12-week programs. You can choose from from a list of popular trips and outfitters on their site, or you can select a custom trip. My tour operator, Alpenwild isn’t a partner of Fit For Trips, so I chose a 12-week custom program for the Haute Route hike in Switzerland. I also provided a link to my itinerary so the trainer could see what kind of mileage and elevation changes I should be ready for.

Fit For Trips Tour List

I spent about 20-30 minutes setting up my profile, providing personal health and medical information, including how many days and hours I could devote to working out, whether I prefer to work out at home or the gym and whether I have access to a swimming pool. A few days later, a customized training program was available in my dashboard.

Fit For Trips Program Features

Each Fit For Trips program is a combination of endurance training and resistance training. The trainer did a great job of incorporating swimming (my preferred cardio), resistance training, stairs, interval training, treadmill workouts and outdoor hiking with increasing pack weight over the 12 weeks. What I love most about the program is that a lot of it can be done outside of a gym. (You can also choose a home-based option that does not require a gym at all.)

Fit For Trips Dashboard

The dashboard is really well built and easy to use.  There are tons of acronyms and at first it may look overwhelming, but with one click, I printed out a 22-page PDF that included detailed instructions for each workout.  For the resistance training, there are also videos showing each exercise.

Fit For Trips Video

The 12 weeks are broken out as follows:

  • Weeks 1 – 3:  Base – I selected beginner level as I’ve had a lazy winter so this was just getting me used to working out on a regular basis
  • Week 4: Recovery – cutting back on intensity for a week
  • Weeks 5 – 7: Build – increasing intensity
  • Week 8: Recovery
  • Weeks 9 – 11:  Peak
  • Week 12:  Recovery & Departure for my trip!

Fit For Trips Dashboard

Fit For Trips Support

The founder and Head Personal Trainer, Marcus, has been readily available via email and phone since he crafted my program.  A few days into the program, Marcus and I jumped on a conference call, where he walked me through the program, took my feedback on my first two days, and adjusted the plan based on that feedback.  I also receive regular emails with helpful tips and encouraging testimonials from previous clients who have achieved their goals.

At under $30/week for the 12-week program, it is much more affordable than a personal trainer. I loved working out with a trainer, but I could not afford more than 1 session per week, which wasn’t enough to maintain a good fitness level.

I am nearing the end of week 1 and so far, I feel really good about the program. I can tell that the exercises I’m doing will prepare me for the strength and stamina I need to power through the mountain passes of Switzerland. With two rest days each week, I don’t feel like this is overwhelming or unrealistic, and I look forward to tracking my progress for the next 11 weeks. Stay tuned for another post when I finish the program, or follow along on social media!

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I received a complimentary training program in exchange for a review on my website.  All words and opinions are my own.

 

Two Traveling Texans
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Celebrating Canada 150!

Have you heard?  Canada is turning 150 this year! To celebrate Canada 150, they are opening up their National Parks for free!  Order your free pass here.  Pretty sweet, eh?

“The 150th anniversary of Canada, also known as the 150th anniversary of Confederation and promoted by the Canadian government as Canada 150, occurs in 2017 as Canada marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.”

I have been fortunate enough to make several trips to Canada in my lifetime, and I’ve never had a bad time.  There are still lots of places I want to visit, like Quebec, Churchill and Novia Scotia.  Here are some of my favorite places that I’ve visited in Canada. (Some trips happened before digital photography, so these are scans of printed photos – yes, that used to be a thing!)

Banff & Canadian Rockies

I love ski towns, and Banff was no exception.  In 2005, my aunt Donna and I road-tripped from Seattle to the Canadian Rockies and spent 3 days on a horseback trip with Holidays on Horseback, now Banff Trail Riders.  We did the Mystic Valley trip and it was so much fun!  I would love to go back and do a longer trip with them.  The scenery was splendid!

2004 - Canadian Rockies

On our way back to Seattle, we also stopped off at Lake Louise, which is Insta-famous due to it’s turqouise blue waters.  We took a short canoe trip around the lake.  Another place I would love to return, and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise would be a great place to stay!

2004 - Lake Louise

Vancouver

I have made a few trips to Vancouver over the years, most recently to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. Vancouver might be my favorite city ever – it’s big enough that it has a lot going on, but it’s incredibly clean, green, and easy to navigate.  The mountain/ocean/culture trifecta can’t be beat! It is also super pricy, so beware!

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Whistler

I first visited Whistler in 2003 when I was contemplating a move out West.  My sister and I drove up for the day (from Vancouver) and I loved it!  I love car-free zones, and it seems to be a common feature in Canadian ski towns.  Super cute.  My ski skills are Midwest Level, so I haven’t sampled the snow here, but it’s supposed to be killer. People were still skiing mid-May on my last visit!

Mont Tremblant

Another ski town!  I’m sensing a theme….they’re just so cute!  I came here in the fall as a side trip from Montreal. I’ve heard it can get brutally cold here in the winter, but it’s a great add-on to a Montreal visit.

The ski village, from our hotel window (with screen)

Montreal

Montreal is a great place for a weekend getaway, just a short flight from Chicago.  You can stroll the cobblestone streets of “Old Montreal” and practice your French in the shops and cafes. The botanical garden had a cool exhibit of Japanese lanterns at the time, so we visited at night when everything was lit up. Of course, the fall colors were on full display as well.

Vieux Montreal

Toronto

Toronto feels like a Candian version of Chicago, so of course I loved it.  My BFF and I took a road trip here a week before 9/11 happened.  We took our bikes and just roamed around the city.  It’s been a while, and I’m much more travel-savvy now, so I’d love to visit again and hit the highlights. (And take photos – I don’t have any from our trip!)

Quetico Provincial Park

Ok, technically I haven’t been to Quetico, but I have paddled the US side, the Boundary Waters, and we did stop off in Canada for a potty break, so it counts.  Based on what I saw in the Boundary Waters, I can safely bet that a trip to Quetico would not disappoint!

Day 5 (Leigh - iPhone photo)

How will you celebrate Canada 150?

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Two Traveling Texans
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