Advice for pilgrims: getting physically prepared

A frequent doubt that future pilgrims ask themselves before starting their walk is, “Will I be physically prepared?”

Especially if we are not athletes or have never practiced hiking, we might worry about being overcome by fatigue and not being able to continue.

From Pambretours, we remind you that you should not worry too much about this question because we take care of planning the stages of the tour according to your physical possibilities and transporting your backpack and belongings so that your only concern is to walk. Some of our tours, such as “Camino Tranquilo”, are specially designed for the elderly or people with limitations for long walks.

Walking is considered an aerobic or low impact physical activity. This means that it does not require a lot of strength to do it, although it does require good health and certain safety measures.

In today’s article we will give you a series of recommendations to enjoy the Camino to the fullest and make each stage more bearable:

* Integrate yourself in Nature: contemplating the beauty of the landscape or enjoying the freedom of the open countryside, bring great psychic and emotional benefits that help us overcome fatigue and keep us in shape during our journey.

* Previous training: if you are a person with a sedentary lifestyle or you are not used to walking, it would be advisable to train a few weeks before the start of our tour. Start with short walks that you can increase progressively, if possible with trips to the mountain to get used to the ups and downs. Cycling on a bicycle (either in open-air rides or on a stationary bike), going up and down stairs or even swimming, are aerobic activities that help us to increase our lung capacity and physical endurance.

* Stretching: should be done before and after the walk to give back to our muscles and joints the elasticity we need when exercising, and then relax. For them to be really effective you must control your breathing and maintain the posture indicated in each case for 15 to 20 seconds.

* Take care of your feet: continuous rubbing can cause cracks or blisters. This situation can be avoided by moisturizing them with a moisturizing cream and wearing good socks, if possible without seams and special for dry feet. As for footwear, it is best to choose sneakers with a resistant sole and prepared for the irregularities of the terrain. If you have any type of foot problem or if you feel more comfortable, you can also use an anatomical insole to have the sensation of a “soft footprint”.

* No rushing: walking against the clock is one of the main causes of accidents. Each person should adapt to his or her pace and real physical possibilities, not to those of other pilgrims.

* Trekking poles or walking poles: they help us to walk by reducing the impact on the heel and supporting part of the weight that falls on our legs, thus relieving the effort required for walking.

However, it is also important to know how to choose and use them correctly. Most of the beads are adjustable, and their length can be adapted to the needs of each person or to the terrain (whether it is an uphill or downhill slope). In any case, the recommended distance is that in which the pole is at the height of our forearm when resting it on the ground, in an upright position and with the elbows bent at right angles.

If we are going down a slope we must lengthen our cane between 5 and 10 cm to be able to support it well on the ground and cushion the descent.

We recommend you to watch the following video of the Highlands Channel where they carefully explain how to walk with trekking poles.

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