Couch to Summit: Start Here
You’re here. The mountain is there. Let’s start your journey toward the summit TODAY!
Don’t get me wrong, TV is awesome, recliners are heavenly and Netflix is producing some great binge-worthy entertainment (Ozarks, am I right?!?) but climbing a mountain will change your life.
Hiking and mountain climbing has many benefits to both your physical and mental health and well-being.
According to WebMD, hiking can:
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise
- Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs
- Strengthen your core
- Improve balance
- Help control your weight
- Boost your mood. “Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety,” says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.”
Couch to Summit intends to do literally what it says, transform almost anyone with no outdoor skill and minimal physical training into someone capable of summiting a mountain.
From my experience, I’ve found that people avoid outdoor adventures, specifically mountaineering, for 4 reasons:
- Time Commitment
- Decision Paralysis
Each of these perceived obstacles will be addressed in detail in future posts, but let’s take care of decision paralysis right now. Commit to climbing a mountain TODAY. Say it, believe it, post on social media and tell your friends. Get excited!
Gather the Training Supplies
Start by gathering the following supplies from around your house. Don’t have one of these items? Borrow from a friend. Still no luck? Don’t sweat it, they aren’t required.
NOTE: We will go through each of these items in detail throughout this course.
- Basic backpack
A standard school backpack, hiking backpack, etc
- Comfortable Footwear
Sneakers, tennis shoes, hiking shoes/boots.
Wool socks are best, but any comfortable, cushioned calf height or higher will suffice for training.
- Water Bottle
Any 16oz or more reusable, resealable bottle will do.
- Comfortable/Weather-Appropriate Clothing
Depending on your location, comfortable workout shirt and shorts/pants
- Training Weight
This can be anything that adds weight to your pack for training. As training progresses, weight with be increased to continually challenge you and Good options are sand bags, dried rice, beans, canned goods, dumbbell weights, etc.
Got the supplies? Let’s go!