Good health and physical conditioning helps you get in shape for a Grand Canyon river adventure. One of the biggest pieces of advice we offer is to get in shape. A high level of physical fitness allows you maximize all aspects of this active adventure and contributes to your safety. The daily itinerary is busy and exertive from dawn to dusk. It is obvious that strength and fitness amplifies opportunities such as hiking and paddling. But here are a few other examples where physical fitness benefits you:
- Walking in soft sand or across uneven terrain.
- Carrying 20 pound dry bags and other river gear to and from the rafts each day.
- Setting up and tearing down a tent for 6-16 days in a row (a good reason to sleep under the stars if possible).
- Holding onto the raft as you tackle rapids.
- Crouching or taking unusually big steps.
Get In Shape With A Professional
A Grand Canyon raft adventure presents challenges to those compromised with poor physical fitness. Give consideration to an ideal level of endurance and stamina that allows you to comfortably enjoy your trip. How do you prepare, you ask? We recommend consulting a personal trainer as this has worked for many guests in the past. A personal trainer can help you identify and execute a workout plan specific to your goals.
Execute Your Own Get In Shape Plan
However, a personal fitness trainer is not necessary. If you have initiative to train yourself you might create your own strength training, aerobics and core strengthening routines. Although, training yourself is a more difficult to get in shape because fitness is relative. For example, you may walk three miles a day. We agree that walking is part of a healthy lifestyle and provides fitness benefits. However, a walking routine alone may not be enough to properly prepare you for an active adventure like rafting in the Grand Canyon.
Furthermore, there are a few resources available to Grand Canyon river runners containing advice on how to get in shape. Erin Hayden, Doctor of Physical Therapy & Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, and Mari Carlos, President of Grand Canyon River Runner Association, collaborate on a series of articles that target the average Grand Canyon commercial river runner. Dr. Hayden is also an instructor at the USC Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, as well as a practicing PT at the University Park Health Center on the main USC campus.
Check out the article on page 8 of the Grand Canyon River Runner Newsletter called Prepare Properly and Prevent Injuries on your Grand Canyon River Rafting Trip. You might also be interested in a similar article located on page 14 of another Grand Canyon River Runner Newsletter: Preparing Your Knees.
Contribute To Your Own Experience
Consequently, regardless of your fitness plan to get in shape before your trip, any and all preparation helps. River guides and experienced guests comment after their trips about how much their pre-trip fitness preparation contributes to their overall appreciation and enjoyment on this unique Grand Canyon raft expedition. Take an active roll in the success of your Grand Canyon rafting experience and review all of the risks and rewards.