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Take a Hike: Five Ways to Stay Active on Your Next Camping Trip

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Don’t forgo your exercise routine just because you are on vacation. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, and even if you’re miles away from civilization on your next camping trip, you can find creative ways to stay active. Thomas Wuerz, MD offers five ways to burn calories, strengthen your body and improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Take a hike
A hike, walk or run is a great way to explore your vacation destination. Additionally, it provides a number of health benefits including improved heart, bone and mental health, increased circulation and oxygen intake, and lower blood pressure. Before your trip, do some research so you can pick trails or routes that meet your fitness goals. Many hotels and campgrounds also provide information on the local area for runs and hiking at check-in. Make sure to bring appropriate hiking/running gear and hydration/nutrition along to keep you safe. Also let someone know where you plan on running or hiking in case of emergency (often cell services in remote locations will not be available).

Go for a swim
Swimming is a great all-around activity that builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Another benefit is that the buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight, which reduces stress on the joints. If you are considering swimming in open water, lakes, or ponds, make sure to only swim in safe areas.

Canoe, kayak or paddleboard
Many camp grounds offer canoe, kayak or paddleboard rentals. These activities are great ways to explore your surroundings from the water and strengthen your back, upper body and core.

Play a sport
Playing volleyball, paddleball, or tossing a Frisbee are great ways to stay active while camping. You will burn calories as well as work your arms, legs, and core by reaching, running, and throwing.

Exercise and Stretch
There are a number of exercises you can perform which will allow you to get a full body workout with no equipment necessary. Try squats, knee extensions, bridges, abdominal crunches, push-ups, and arm circles. Click here to see how to do each exercise. You can also consider finding a relaxing place to do some stretching or your favorite yoga poses.

Remember to relax and enjoy your trip! 

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