Stay in Shape to Enjoy the Outdoors
Living in a suburban area, I don’t get out to my hunting locations as often as I would like to. Although I would like to get out more prior to the start of hunting season, I don’t find it a detriment to my hunting since the majority of my hunting is done on the ground still hunting.
I primarily hunt in Ohio. I also hunt in West Virginia and over the past 6 years have also enjoyed hunting in Indiana with my nephew. The terrain I hunt varies from hilly to mountainous. Hunting is a physical activity. Depending on the type of hunting you do, at times it can be physically demanding. There will be times you’ll be hiking with a backpack, toting a rifle or bow, moving tree stands, and/or dragging deer. Someday you may find yourself hiking up and down the Rocky Mountains in search of elk. You need to be in good physical condition. So to keep in shape for the type of hunting I do, I walk at a fast pace 2 miles a day and ramp it up to 4 miles a day beginning in August. I enjoy walking, but having a dog, Saint, provides me with the extra incentive to get out every day. If I have one of those days I don’t really feel up to walking, all I have to do is look at Saint and that’s all the motivation I need. My favorite hunting spot in Ohio is about 2 miles from where I park my truck. So walking is a big plus to keep me in hunting condition.
Not only does walking help with my physical conditioning, but by walking in the neighborhood early in the mornings, it also provides me the extra benefit of keeping my eyes and ears keen. I live in the Hillsboro edition of Mingo Junction and most of the streets I walk are next to woods. During my walks over the years, I have encountered deer, rabbits, squirrels, possums, raccoons, turkey and coyotes. And just like when I am hunting, when I walk I am trying to see the wildlife first, before it sees me. Doing this while walking definitely helps me prepare for when I get into the woods and still hunt.
I will be turning 54 this September and I am blessed to be in good health. I’ve noticed though the strength in my legs is not what it used to be, even with all the walking I do. I used to work out regularly using a resistance machine but quit using it two years ago. So in June of this year, I began training with a kettle bell. What a difference it has made. There is a vast majority of instructional DVD’s on the market to choose from. I personally purchased the KettleWorx DVD’s and am completely satisfied. The program focuses on Cardio, Core and Strength. I like the fact it only takes twenty minutes a day, three days a week. After 10 weeks of kettlebell workouts, I have felt a considerable difference not only in the strength of my legs, but especially in my core area. Kettlebells require an individual to use muscles that mimic real life situations. Due to the momentum and inertia created during use, a kettlebell will work multiple muscles. An entire body workout can be done in a short amount of time and can help strengthen your core and improve flexibility.
The reason I pay attention to my physical condition is the fact I enjoy hunting and the outdoors so much. I want to be able to enjoy both for as long as I am alive. I never let the thought of becoming too old to hunt or enjoy the outdoors enter my mind. Staying in shape will definitely give me the advantage to continue what I love to do for years to come. And I don’t have to explain the benefits of staying in shape go far beyond hunting.
For a good read about hunters and heart attacks and to determine your maximum heart rate, check out the following article from Field and Stream: http://is.gd/Ibn7gv .
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