How to stay fit during your Camino trip
Whether you chose to walk or cycle your chosen Camino de Santiago route, you’re in for a rewarding experience like no other. The journey is suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, but walking any long-distance route is still a physical challenge. If you want to make the most of your journey there are a few key points you can follow that will leave you injury free and full of energy the entire way. Here are our top tips to stay fit while on the Camino:
As the famous saying goes; “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. You’ll need to walk at least 100km to receive your Compostela certificate, and training for this should begin before you step foot on the trail. Our six-month fitness plan will give you all the tools you need to get your body ready for the trip and more importantly, to stay fit during your journey. You can download it here. You can also check out our Camino Fitness Bible for inspiration and planning.
As you are enjoying your walk or cycle your muscles will be putting in a solid effort to carry your frame. This is no problem, it’s what your body was designed for but for most of us this level of activity will be unusual. Completing some simple stretching in the morning and at night will dramatically reduce your chance of muscle injury. We have put together a recommended stretches video which which will make sure you isolate the most important muscles . Believe us when we tell you, your legs will thank you for it.
Food is the fuel that your body uses to run its engine. You’ll be burning a lot more calories than you usually would, which means you’ll need to eat a little more to keep your energy levels boosted. Try to stick to lean meats and seafood for muscle recovery, and carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potato, brown bread) for energy. Fruit and nuts are great snacks to bring on the road. Remember, everything is fine in moderation. We’re not saying you should skip dessert, you’re on holiday after all!
You’ve probably heard that your body is 65% water, and as you use energy hiking or cycling, you’ll be sweating a lot of this out. You should be aiming to drink at least two litres of water throughout the day during your Camino. Be sure to take advantage of the free water fountains along the way. This will help you with everything from muscle recovery to mental focus. Alcohol is a pesky contributor to dehydration, but with some of the gorgeous local wines on offer, we’d never say no to a cheeky glass or two.
After you reach your destination each evening, you’ll be dying to explore your new surroundings and soak in the unique atmosphere each town offers. You’re sure to meet other friendly walkers with interesting stories about their own journey. This is one of the highlights of doing the Camino, but don’t forget to get some shut-eye. While you sleep, your body is performing essential activities that aid recovery and well-being. There’s no better feeling than waking up on a fresh morning with a spring in your step, ready for the next stage of your journey!
We hope you enjoyed this article about the best ways to stay fit on the Camino. For more information about any of our walking or cycling tours, please don’t hesitate to contact us.