Training tips

Seven tips to help you training for your Pinatubo hike.

1) Engage in aerobic exercises. Whether it's running, climbing stairs or even your gym aero group classes what's important is that you work on strengthening your heart and lung muscles. Recommended frequency: 1hr a day, 3-4 times a week.

2) Pump it! Lift weights to strengthen your thigh and calf muscles. When these babies are strong, climbing those mountains will feel like less of a punishment. Include your arm and stomach muscles as well by doing pushups, situps or stomach crunches.

3) Use the stairs. Any time you have a choice, skip the elevator and escalator and take the stairs. Example, you work at the 15th floor of your office building. Take the elevator up to the 13th floor then take the stairs to your office. This is an easy way to build up your leg muscles little by little.

4) Take long walks.  and, whenever possible, incorporate hills and stairs into those walks. You’ll likely be on trails for extended periods of time on a trek – getting used to walking for hours at a time will help you endure once you’re on the hike.

5) Hike at altitude. If you’re climbing, you’ll likely be at some level of altitude. By spending your weekends hiking in the mountains, it will help you get used to the altitude at your destination.

6) Carry some added weight. During at least some of your workouts, walks or hikes, carry a backpack that has the approximate weight you’ll be carrying with you on the climb.

7) Walk in hiking boots that are well broken in. Whether you need heavy duty boots or those that are light hikers, don’t wait until the last minute to make sure they fit well and are comfortable. Also, by building up some callouses prior to your climb, it’ll ensure fewer problems in the mountains.

The bottom line? The better shape you’re in prior to departure, the better the experience will be once you’re on the trail.