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Fresh Start to Fitness: Exercises to Make Your Next Hiking Outing Easier

Fresh Start to Fitness: Exercises to Make Your Next Hiking Outing Easier (File photo: MGN Online)

(KUTV) Utah's weather is turning nice, which means it is time to start being active outdoors! If hiking and/or backpacking is something you enjoy, you'll want to condition yourself before you venture out into Utah's outdoors. Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, demonstrates an exercise routine to help you get ready for the backpacking/hiking season.

Beck recommends that you follow the following exercise routine a couple of times per week to help strengthen some of the muscles you will use while hiking and backpacking:

1) Traveling Lunge With Ball: Hold a small ball (weighted or non-weighted) in your left hand. Lunge forward with your right foot and come down until your thigh is parallel to the floor, being mindful not to allow your knee to come past your toes. Now, pass the ball from your left hand to your right between your legs. Push yourself up and repeat with the other side as you travel forward across the floor. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps per side.

2) Resistance Ball Leg Extensions: Lie on your back or prop yourself up using your elbows. Place a small resistance ball or medicine ball between your feet. Extend your legs up into the air by bending the knees and return to starting position. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

3) Lying Hamstring Curl With Glute Squeeze: Lie on your stomach and place a small resistance ball or a light dumbbell between your feet. Curl the weight up until the weight is pointing toward the sky. Now, lift your thighs off the ground by pushing your pelvis into the floor and contracting the glutes. Lower the weight back to starting position. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

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