Ah, the great outdoors. A chance to connect to nature, eat outside, and sleep under the stars. There are lots of creative ways to keep moving and exercising while camping when away from your usual environment. We’ll teach you some camping warm-ups and stretches you can do before and after hiking, biking and carrying out your chores. We want your body to feel great on your next camping adventure!
Warm-up before hiking
- March in place: 1 minute
- Heel raises (rise up on tip toes): 10-15 repetitions
- Squats – as deep as comfortable: 5-10 repetitions
Warm-up before biking
- Alternating heel to buttocks: 1 minute
- Alternating leg swing “kick”: 5-10 repetitions each side
- Body weight squats: 5-10 repetitions
Stretches after hiking or biking
Hip flexor stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Hamstring stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Quadriceps stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Calf / Ankle stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Gluteal / Buttock stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Wood chopping warm-ups and stretches
Most of us no longer make campfires to survive like our ancestors did. As a result, this activity places new demands on our bodies that can result in strains or sprains. Wood chopping requires strength from your arms, abdominals, legs and cardiovascular system, so it can be a great form of exercise if you do it correctly.
Wood chopping warm-ups and stretches: Go through the chopping motion (on both sides) minus the axe, 10 repetitions.
After chopping wood stretch the front and back of the shoulders like this:
Chest stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Cross arm stretch: Hold 30 seconds
Exercises in the tent or trailer
In addition to making sure you have the proper sleeping pad and sleeping position while camping, here are some camping stretches you can do in the tent or trailer before or after sleep. Upon waking, lie on your back and hug your knees to your chest. Think of how a cat or dog moves after they wake up. Stretch long with your arms overhead and legs straight.
Then try 10 repetitions of “cat-cow”:
We hope you enjoyed thinking about new ways to stretch and warm-up while camping and out of your element. If you have questions about specific exercises you need, contact your physical therapist.