Hunting and Fitness
Frank Morgan, MD is a family physician with Banner Westlake Medical Clinic in Greeley, Colo. He can be reached at (970) 353-9011.
Question: Hunting is a favorite hobby of mine, but it has become physically difficult in the past few years. What can I do to be better prepared?
Answer: Fitness is often left off of the list of “things to do” before the big hunt. You may be the greatest shot in the world, but if you can’t get to the game and bring it off the mountain or out of the field, it doesn’t do you any good and you won’t make friends with your hunting buddies or guides. Just as proper equipment is essential, being physically fit is equally important.
When establishing your hunting fitness plan, prepare your entire body. Carrying even a small amount of gear can be much easier when your body has been through proper overall conditioning and nutritional training.
Begin by walking with the same amount of weight that you will be carrying while on the hunt; walk short distances to start, but increase daily. Remember that on your actual hunt you may be walking through deep snow, so try to lift your knees high as part of your workout and wear your snow or hunting boots on some of your exercise outings. Functional training exercises such as standing and squatting should be part of your fitness plan as well. Make sure to stay hydrated at all times and keep track of the foods you are eating.
Don’t let your lack of physical fitness keep you from your favorite hobby! Ask your physician about guidelines for staying in shape or starting your physical fitness plan.
If you aren’t currently active, or have health concerns, please consult your physician before starting a conditioning program.
Reviewed January 2011