It doesn’t take long to start losing ground on fitness during the off-season. Busy work schedules, holiday binge eating and general life events can cause months of hard earned conditioning to slip away.
You don’t need a crazy training schedule to stay in shape through the off-season however. A simple routine and some cross training will keep your activity level high and help maintain conditioning. This makes it much easier to ramp up training for those hard mountain hunts later in the summer.
Don’t put it off. Here are a few ideas to stay in shape and keep the momentum on your side:
Cross Training Exercises
Cross training is one of the best ways to maintain conditioning throughout the off-season. Find activities you enjoy that are physically demanding and stay engaged in those to keep yourself active.
Hit the mountain with skis or snowshoes, hike around or join an intramural sports league. You can engage with the outdoors through a variety of sports like rock climbing and mountain biking or you can stay indoors and play in a competitive basketball league.
Cross training is ideal because it breaks up the monotony of daily gym workouts. Find something you are passionate about and stay engaged and active throughout the off-season.
Plan a Spring Hunt
Why stop hunting at all? January and February are pretty much dead months everywhere. But you can plan a spring hunt that will keep you on the mountain.
Spring bear is the perfect opportunity to stay active while walking closed logging roads and scrambling through snow and mud in the high country. Bear hunts are physical and planning one will help keep you motivated to exercise throughout the winter months leading into the hunt.
Most folks might not think of spring Turkey hunting as very physical. But here in the western states, there are some awesome opportunities for backcountry turkey hunts. Merriam’s turkeys thrive in roadless and wilderness areas throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Consider shouldering a backpack and going after some mountain birds!
Soon after the spring bear and turkey hunts wrap up, summer will arrive and you can go backpacking and easily stay active outdoors while prepping for fall hunts. Take advantage of every low season hunting opportunity to stay active and in the game.
Consistency in the Diet
The off-season is a dangerous time for your diet. Holidays, super bowl parties and gatherings make it easy to fall off the wagon. Enjoy the events but work to maintain a consistent diet throughout the off-season.
Pack your body with healthy vegetables and take advantage of that excellent wild game in your freezer. The harvest from previous seasons offers major health benefits as organic, clean protein. Keeping your body fueled with vital nutrients will make it easier to ramp up to a more intensive training program as the fall hunting season approaches.
Bonus: Test Your Gear
In addition to keeping your body in shape, staying active through the off-season serves another great purpose. This is an ideal time to work on your hunting gear systems.
Need to purchase and break in new boots? Now is the time to do it. This is also a great time to test out your cold weather clothing systems. If any items are not performing as you hoped or if something needs to be replaced, winter or early spring hiking can highlight those needs.
While you’re out there, take time to test out your cook system. Plus, bring along your optics and spend time glassing. If there are any issues or holes in your hunting gear setup, it’s better to discover them now than later in the summer when hunting season is just around the corner.
If you have questions about gear or need recommendations for your next hunt, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re passionate about hunting gear and we’d love to help you get ready for that next big adventure.
By Zach Lazzari & Ryan McSparran