As the days begin to shorten and the temperatures drop, my thoughts, and those of 13.7 million other Americans, start to turn towards the upcoming hunting seasons. Every year hunters die or are injured while participating in this annual ritual. A lot of these incidents can be prevented by proper safety and preparation.
When we prepare for hunting we willingly spend hundreds of dollars on new gear we probably don’t need and extra provisions (snacks, etc.), but we probably don’t think twice about preparing our bodies for the hunt. As hunters we owe it to ourselves to make sure we are safe, but we also owe it to our quarry. It is our duty to do everything we can to make sure we recover our animals no matter how tired we are or how tough the terrain may be. Here are a few tips to prepare your body for the big hunt this year:
- Increase your cardiovascular endurance. Walk or jog on a treadmill (or outside) on both flat and inclined surfaces to simulate the outdoor terrain. In this instance it doesn’t matter how much you can bench or squat, if your heart isn’t in good shape you won’t make it very far on a hike through the woods.
- Focus on core strength. If you’re used to heavy lifting exercises, change it up by doing your regular exercises on one leg. It will help to strengthen your core and make those off-balance shots a little easier. Remember to safely balance or use a spotter if necessary.
- Add weight. I once weighed myself without my hunting gear, and then again with it. I was 23 pounds heavier with my gear! You don’t realize what a difference 20 pounds can make. If you don’t believe me, try holding dumbbells while doing a walking lunge or while on the treadmill. You will notice a big difference in your endurance!
With the right pre-season work, you will find it much easier to spend some quality time out in the woods this fall/winter. If you’re looking for ways to boost your endurance this hunting season, contact one of the personal trainers at LCRAC for some additional tips.