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Get in Shape for Your Project


All Wilderness Volunteers' service trips are for folks who are fit and able to contribute to the work project - working several hours each day on a variety of tasks. Additionally, you must be able to hike to the work site, which can be several miles from the campsite. The best thing you can do to assure you'll have a great time is to be in top shape for the trip. If you smoke, this is a great reason to finally quit and will improve both heart and lung function. Trim off extra fat with exercise to improve your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and balance. Starting several months before your trip, begin a moderate program of training that includes walking and upper body strengthening. Slowly build up to a more strenuous level of training as the trip date approaches. The level of fitness needed for a service trip requires regular aerobic exercise for at least one hour 4-5 times a week. This may include aerobic fitness classes, power walking, running, cycling on hills, swimming, and cross-country skiing. Stair climbing, especially two stairs at a time, is great preparation. One fellow I know likes to walk backwards on an inclined treadmill. On the weekends, hike several miles with weight on your back. Your goal is to be able to sustain exercise for prolonged periods.

If your trip is above 8000-ft. -- being "in shape" does not necessarily guarantee good performance at altitude, but it helps. Being "out of shape" definitely increases the chances of doing poorly.

Remember, a service trip is a cooperative venture between the volunteers and the land agency - you want to be ready, it'll be worth it!If you are looking for some exercises that will keep you fit, check out this blog post.