Well, I made to mile 274-ish and the lovely town of Hot Springs. As you can see from the photo, the AT runs right through town with an AT blaze right on the sidewalk. I'm fortunate to stay with my good friend John Watkins who sells native plants in Madison County. He knows more about trees and plants of this are than anybody I know.
There are so many things to write about but I only write when I am in town so I can never cover them all. But I was thinking that some folks haven't started yet and may still be looking for conditioning ideas and I wanted to share some ways to get fit before the trail and stay fit on. My approach is generally functional fitness for life. This is different than athletic competitiveness. Lots of athletes consider injury part of the deal. That's something different than fitness from my perspective. My prime objective is to be fit AND injury-free.
So first, check out Katy Bowman, the biomechanist. She can show how to move and also how to incorporate strengthening movements into daily life. No gym needed. FB: https://www.facebook.com/NutritiousMovement/
Next, there is a great 21-day program that you can get started with- Primal Blueprint. I am a certified coach with this program and I really learned a lot about the Paleo lifestyle that incorporates a high fat low carb diet with functional fitness. Again-no gym needed. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-blueprint-21-day-challenge/
Best functional fitness youtube videos are MovNat. In our indoor furniture-bound world we have forgotten how to move in the ways our bodies were designed. https://www.youtube.com/user/MovNat
I'm a big fan of the squat! Put your full weighted pack on and see if you can do a full squat. That's going to do a lot to build trail legs and let you know how you handle your pack weight. Check one of the resources above for proper form for a squat to prevent injury.
Last but not least--cat holes are good for you! Fans of the Squatty Potty know what I am talking about. Squatting is the anatomically correct way to poop folks. Take advantage of this on the trail and say goodbye to the privy!
Well, I hope that gave you some ideas. I look forward to meeting more folks on the trail. Slosh signing off here.
One of the conflict areas where I worked was Liberia-a country largely modeled after the USA. Rural areas suffer from a lack of clean water. As hikers we know how much work it is to collect our liter bottles of water—but imagine that you have to provide water for all uses for your extended family, elders, littles, the disabled and all. This arduous task usually falls to the women of the family. So I am supporting this project in Liberia. I know the groups involved and have met them personally in Liberia. Please read about the project for its interest when you have time. Donating is appreciated but not required. None of the funds go to my hike. Only to help the project get on its feet with an ultimate goal of self-suffficiency. GoFundMe.com/cleanwaterforliberia
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