Sunday, January 07, 2007

Physical Fitness and Hunting

Today, I started my workouts again and I am already sore. Physical fitness plays a major role in whether you are going to be successful for big western game. I am still unsure as to where I am going hunting this fall. I am waiting for Dennis to make up his mind as to whether he wants to go after moose, elk, bear, mule deer or antelope.

Either way, I am out of shape. Nineteen years ago, I did one of the stupidest things I could ever do and started smoking. This last year in Idaho, I really felt the damage that it has done to my lungs and my body. Part of it is that I am getting to be a bit older now as I am about to celebrate my 37th birthday at the end of this month. My goal is to get back in the gym and quit smoking.

My schedule for January is going to keep me very busy but I am determined to spend 45 minutes in the gym as often as I can. My workout today consisted of 20 minutes on the treadmill and 25 minutes of free weights. I usually hit the treadmill or elipticals first to build up my heart rate and then get in some abs work and then chest,shoulders and arms. Working your legs and calves are important because you will be carrying a lot of weight while you are hunting out west, but the main thing you can work on is is your cardio and aerobic fitness level. If your gym has a stair climber, these are probably very similar to what you will have while climbing a mountain.

If you are planning a big game fall hunt, the time to start your routine for training is now. As you get closer to your hunt, fill your pack with your gear and put it on your shoulders and get in 2-4 miles per day for about 3 weeks before your hunt. About 5 days before your hunt, stop training and rest up your body so that you will be prepared for your hunt. Do however keep stretching and eating well. More about fitness levels to come.