Interesting geology can be found on Ben Lomond Station |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>

Getting fit for your active walk

The fitter you are, the happier the holiday. 

We want your walk to be as pleasurable and memorable as possible for all the right reasons and not remembered for the wrong ones.

An important step when choosing which walk you will do, is to choose the trip that fits your own personal and physical ability.  Our 1-10 grading system has been designed in such a way to assist you in choosing the right walk, with the gradings determined by trip length, landscape, rest days and traveller feedback.  Specific trip terrains also play a part, so please read our Trip Gradings section as well as the detailed trip notes to choose a walk that is right for you.

The best thing you can do for any new adventure – prepare.


The fitter that you are, the happier that you will be on your walking adventure.  It doesn’t matter if you are a complete novice to a walking holiday, or if you are a seasoned explorer, the fitter you are when you start your active holiday, the more chance that you will enjoy it.

"The golden rule to a great walk is great shoes!"

Shoes are an all-important investment when you embark on a walk.  They will dictate how sore your muscles are feeling at the end of the day. Whether your feet are blister free. How your lower back feels. 

Consider a pair of walking shoes that are well fitted, have good tread and grip and have good ankle support.  Many walkers will prefer an ankle boot compared to a low-cut walking shoe.  The terrain can often be remote, muddy, uneven, rocky and steep and having good footwear will put you in good stead to surviving your walk without injury.  Gym shoes/trainers are not great shoes for outdoor walking, so make sure you look after your feet.

"Having good leg muscles and leg strength also helps your overall walking stamina"

Perhaps get into a routine each day of doing some squats, lunges and calf raises to build up the muscles and strength in your legs. Your legs will carry you on your trip, so it’s important that you start training them 3-6 months prior to your travels.

Hill climbs are also a great activity to not only increase leg strength, but to increase your lung strength and overall stamina as well.  Grab a walking buddy, and take to a hill each weekend, or perhaps each morning or evening.  If where you live is flat, then find a gym with a stair climber or cross-trainer or perhaps a multi-storey carpark where you can climb the stairs.  Climb the stairs anywhere you can instead of taking the lift and your strength and stamina will quickly grow.

"Walking with a pack? Train with a pack"

If your walk is going to include carrying a pack, then get outdoors and go for a walk with a loaded pack on your back.  Getting the balance right is again all important and having an extra 8kg or so on your back is noticeable to your body.  You need to practice.  Also make sure your pack fits you well and talk to some gear store experts to ensure you have the right pack for your body and your walk.

Get in some cardio, get the gear right and get outdoors and walking and you will be walking holiday fit in no time!

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