Tour Guest Fitness
An important touring standard that Nature Trail mandates is that each and every tour guest participant on any of our tours must have good health and fitness to ensure that they are able to undertake and complete a booked tour with no prior medical/health/physical impairments.
This is primarily to ensure the safety, welfare and enjoyment of all tour guests for the entirity of a tour.
Our Road Touring options generally require simply a good level of health and fitness. However, logically for our Hiking Tours we require a higher level of health and fitness due to the additional extertion inherently demanded, especially for longer hiking tours over a Half-Day, Full-Day, or a Long-Day.
Also a higher level of health and fitness is also required to participate on hiking tours graded as being ‘Medium’ or ‘Hard’ or ‘Very Hard’ for physical exertion and skill. This we indicated on both our Tour Flyer and Tour Agreement specifications for all our Hiking Tours.
As for Nature Trail’s more advanced Treks, our requisite health and fitness guidelines are covered under the Trek menu list on this website.
Medical Declaration Prerequiste
As part of Nature Trail’s tour booking process, each tour applicant is required to first submit a completed and signed Tour Agreement which includes supplying personal information about their health and fitness and submitting a declaration about their medical and physical health and fitness.
Based upon the information supplied, Nature Trail will evaluate whether an tour applicant is considered suitable for the particular booked tour in repect to the grade of the route being within the applicant’s declared health and fitness levels.
Nature Trail reserves the right to reject a tour applicant for heath and safety reasons.
The typical nature of our hiking tours is that they necessitate hiking along foot tracks through wild areas that can involve long distances over uneven surfaces, with long descents and climbs, sometimes rocky terrain, and enduring changeable weather conditions, and carrying a weighted day pack.
Good fitness suitable to hiking is not just about general fitness, but what we emphasize as ‘Current Hiking Fitness’.
Current Hiking Fitness
Physical Fitness generally is a measure of the human body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, resist diseases from sedentary lifestyles, and to meet emergency situations.
The outdoor activity of hiking (also dubbed ‘bushwalking’ in the Australian vernacular) requires a more specialised type of fitness both from a base general pespective as well asbeing quite particular and conditioned to the specific exercise of hiking. This is especially so when the hiking route undertaken is graded as ‘Difficult’ or ‘Very Difficult’, and when the hiking route extends over long distances and under testing weather conditions such as hot direct sun or driving sleet.
A general rule to buildd one”s current hiikng fitenss is to hike frequently (weekly is fine to allow body muscles to recover) and to be within one’s comfort capacity (so avoiding overexterion on one’s heart or muscular cramps) and varied – distances, descents, climbs, scrambles, hot and cold conditions.
At Nature Trail we refer to hiking over multiple continuous days as ‘Treks’, which we cover separately under our menu list under ‘Treks’ on this website.
A person’s fitness can vary relative to the type of activity undertaken. For instance, a person may well be acceptably fit to walk over flat surfaces for a few hours. This walking fitness demands a set general fitness and well exercised particlar leg muscle groups to perform the exercise.
However, flat ground walking does not require the same type or level of fitness for quite different activities like for instance for jogging, swimming, surfing, athletics, gymnastics, weight training, ball sports, boxing, horse riding, wrestling, yoga, pilates, and rock climbing and indeed hiking.
By ‘Current Hiking Fitness’, we refer to the following particular physical fitness and health demands:
1. Good Metabolism
- Regular hiking exercise
- Sufficient quality sleep
- Regular hydration
- A quality nutritious and balanced wholefood plant-based diet with high protein, and high fibre, avoiding processed/high sugar/alcoholic/high salty foods
- Maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
2. Leg Muscles Fitness
- Hamstrings (rear and upper thighs)
- Calves (rear lower legs)
- Feet – under-exercise of these can lead to foot and toe cramping while on a hike or immediately following
3. Good Heart Health
Excellent Blood Circulation, healthy blood pressure, healthy pulse rate
4. Cardiovascular (aerobic) Fitness
excellent oxygen intake
5. A Healthy Immune System
a well balanced diet
6. Good Body Composition
The relative amount of fat, muscle, bone, and other vital parts of the body. Healthy Weight. Body Mass Index – For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. If your BMI is: below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range. between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range.
7. Healthy and Strong Leg Joints
ankles, knees, hips, and healthy bone density
8. Good Body Strength
This involvesthe ability of leg muscle groups to exert force, especially when hiking up hill, up many steps and when carrying a weighted backpack
9. Good Skeletal-Muscular Flexibility/Agility
10. Good Muscular Endurance & Stamina
11. Good Balance and Coordination
12. Being Injury Free
13. Being Not Impaired and Illness Free