YOUR CAMINO FITNESS PROGRAM
We have put together a comprehensive (yet very doable) 6-month fitness program to help prepare you for our Divine Pilgrimage.
MONTH 1: ARE YOU IN GOOD SHAPE?
EXERCISE: 10 KMS 1-2 TIMES PER WEEK
What is your physical condition? We would recommend a visit to your general practitioner for an overall check-up before you set off on our journey. If you have a health concern/condition, knowing and understanding the implications and consequences of strenuous exercise will be very important. This knowledge will be worth your weight in gold and will minimize potential problems that may pop up during our Divine Pilgrimage. So let’s be prepared.
Are you in good shape? If not, then let’s get you started on a regular fitness programme, one which is consistent, realistic and enjoyable. The following is a 6-month general program that will get you in shape. This month you should be exercising at least 25-30 minutes three times per week on alternate days and combining walking and jogging. Include your hiking gear and keep your routes varied (mixing hills, steps and uneven terrain).
If you are in good shape and exercise regularly, great! Keep up the good work! But remember you still need to challenge yourself. Take more difficult hikes!
MONTH 2: T-REX SYNDROME
EXERCISE: 15 KMS 1-2 TIMES PER WEEK
T-REX SYNDROME – The Obsession with exercising Only the Legs!! Yes, exercising those legs are important, but making sure your stomach, hips and lower and upper back are strong will be paramount for your Camino. As you walk, jog and climb stairs, the weight of your upper body is transferred into the hips and lower back and in turn into the knees and ankles.
If these areas are weak, simple activities such as walking, jogging, climbing stairs will place continuous stress on the body and could result in injury if left unaddressed.
RISK FACTORS INCLUDE:
- Prolonged sitting (desk based job, driving).
- Lack of Exercise.
- Poor Posture (sitting, standing, performing repetitive movements).
- Get assessed – What are the areas that need to be strengthened?
- Upper body exercise.
MONTH 3: PREVENTING CHAFING
EXERCISE 5-7 KMS 3 TIMES PER WEEK
WHAT IS CHAFING?
Chafing is the irritation of the skin due to repetitive friction (the rubbing together) of body parts and/or clothing. Common areas: Groin (inner thigh), buttocks (inner glutes), armpits, nipples, bra line.
- Repetitive movement during activities such as walking, running, hiking for extended periods of time, the skin can become irritated.
- Sweat: If sweat is allowed to dry and you continue exercising, the salt residue left behind from sweat can intensify the friction and cause further irritation.
- Developed areas: People who have well-developed quadriceps (thigh muscles) or tight bone structures will be at higher risk of experiencing chafing.
- Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of water.
- Clothing: Wear snug clothing such as shorts but ensure they are not too tight.
- Stay Dry: Use talcum powder or corn starch to stay dry.
Treatment: Wash with soap and warm water, apply an antibacterial ointment or antiseptic spray and cover with a band-aid.
MONTH 4 – MOTTO-VATION
EXERCISE 40 – 60 MINS. WALKING 3 TIMES PER WEEK, PLUS ONE 40 MINUTE CYCLE OR SWIM
Do you have a motto?
If Yes. Then write it down now in BIG WRITING on a LARGE piece of cardboard! If Not. Then make one up! What’s your goal? Think about it and put words together. It only has to mean something to you!
Make it POP OUT , make it colourful. Put it over your TV, on your fridge door, the wall next to your bed, along the dashboard of your car – somewhere where you will always SEE IT!
Every time you see your Motto, it will remind you of your GOAL…of what’s important to you.
Slowly it will Motto-vate you! This is Your Time!
MONTH 5: IS HEEL PAIN STOPPING YOU?
EXERCISE: 40 – 60 MINS. WALK 3 TIMES PER WEEK AND A LOCAL HIKE 1-2 TIMES PER WEEK
The pain is described as being dull aching and can be reproduced by flexing the toes upward (dorsiflexion) and tensing the fascia. If the plantar fascia ligament is not rested, the inflammation and heel pain will get worse. Other conditions such as the repetitive stress of walking or running will contribute to inflammation and pain.
The traditional remedies for plantar fasciitis include stretching the calf, massaging, decreasing one’s training, losing weight, purchasing better fitting shoes, icing the sore heel and taking ibuprofen.
Nothing in the world feels better on swollen feet than dunking them in a nice cold creek! The flowing water massages your toes, increases circulation, numbs the pain and makes everything feel good for a little while. Another option is soaking your feet in an ice-filled bathtub.
HERE ARE SOME OF OUR TOP TIPS:
- Wear lightweight and breathable shoes (that fit!).
- Wear socks that provide enough cushion (but not so thick that they overheat your feet).
- When choosing hiking socks, chose a combination of cushion and breathability.
- Clean your feet often and dunk them in cold/ice water whenever possible.
MONTH 6: AVOIDING SHIN SPLINTS
EXERCISE: 25-35 MINS WALK 3 TIMES PER WEEK. TRY HILLS AND UNEVEN TERRAIN. BRINGING HIKING GEAR (BAG, WATER, SHOES)
What are Shin Splints?
Shin Splints refer to pain along your shin bone, as the result of repetitive stress to the large bone and muscle along the front of your lower leg.
- Intensifying or changing your training routine.
- Running on unfamiliar terrain.
- Wearing worn-out boots/shoes.
- Increasing mileage too quickly.
- Most cases of shin splints can be treated with rest, ice and other self-care measures.
- Wearing proper footwear and modifying exercises.
WHAT TO DO:
- During your Camino walk, if you experience few twinges along your shin bone, rest right away. Stretch the muscle for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
5 GREAT EXERCISES: FOR WALKERS GETTING READY FOR THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
- Front of Thigh: Catch heel with your hand and bring it toward your buttocks. Use a wall as balance. Ensure the knees are aligned and back is straight. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, repeat
- Back of Lower Leg: Bring one leg in front of the other, toes pointing straight. Keep heel of back leg firmly on the ground. Lean gently forward. Keep leg straight, keep heel on the ground.
- Ab Work Out on the Move: Blow out until you can’t anymore. You will feel your stomach getting tight. Once you feel the tightness, hold and breathe normally. Do it as often as you can when walking or cycling, holding for 15-30 seconds each time.
- Shoulder Stretch: Bring your arm across your chest. Hold it with the other, pushing it toward your chest. You should feel a pull in your shoulders. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and switch arms.
- Shin Stretch: Place one leg across and in front of the other. Place tip of the foot on the ground. With the knee of the back leg, press gently on the calf of the front leg. You should feel the stretch on the shin of your front leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
THE BENEFITS OF WALKING POLES
It has been shown that using walking poles will reduce the accumulated stress on the feet, legs, knees and back by sharing the load more evenly across the entire body.
TREKKING/WALKING POLES CAN ALSO:
- Protect knees, especially when walking down steep hills
- Improve your power and endurance when walking uphill
- Aid balance on uneven trails
- Improve posture, making walkers more upright as they walk and in turn helps breathing
- Increase speed, especially going downhill
- Provide extra stability
- Reduce fatigue and improve endurance
- Burn more calories by providing an upper body work out as well as a legs workout
- Strengthen muscles that support the spine.
- Build muscles in arms, shoulders and neck.
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