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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

Fitness Special—Hike Forever: Age 35-50

Get ready for the long fitness haul with these skills, workouts, and essential info.

by: Casey Lyons


 

 

Eat Right and Stay in Shape

Nothing combats the early physiological effects of aging like bioflavonoids. Found in fruits (especially citrus and cherries) and vegetables like green peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli, these potent vitamins strengthen connective tissue in the body, increase capillary strength, promote the flow of oxygen and nutrients to organs, tissues, and cells, and help improve recovery times, says dietician Esther Cohen. Cherries, 70-plus-percent cacao dark chocolate, and apricots are all great sources of flavonoids.

Enduro Nuggets
Fight early signs of aging and improve blood flow to vital organs by munching on this vitamin E-packed, bioflavonoid-rich treat.

1 cup dried unsweetened cherries
1 cup almonds (soak in salt water for 6 hours)
1 cup Brazil nuts, halved
1 cup 70-plus-percent dark chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup Goji berries
1 cup dried pears, cut small
1/2 cup golden raisins


Recover With Strengthening Yoga
1. Yoga squats Do this fluid pose to loosen tight hips and tone glutes, quads, and calves. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out. Exhale into a deep squat. Inhale, flex your quads and glutes, and stand up, reaching your arms overhead. Do 10 reps on 10 breaths.

2. Dancer's pose To promote flexibility in your quads and back and improve balance, stand with your feet together and reach your right arm up. With your left hand, reach behind you and grab the arch of your left foot. Push the top of your foot into your palm, lifting your leg and arching your back. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Hold for 3-5 breaths; alternate sides.

3. Wide-legged forward bend Lean back and inhale, clasping your hands behind you. As you exhale, fold your body forward, allowing your straight arms to come up and over your head. Let the crown of your head hang down. Hold 5-10 breaths, return on an inhale, and release your hands.

Train Smart
For the fastest fitness results, calculate–and train within–your target heart rate zone. easiest formula: 220 - your age X .50 to .85.

Longevity Pose Hip Opener
big miles lead to tense hips and back muscles, a chronic problem with this ambitious, tightly wound crowd. hip openers release tension by loosening the leg joints (knees and hips) and restoring full range of motion. how: lie on your sleeping pad with the soles of your feet together so your knees splay out. reach your arms overhead and grab your elbows to gently release your shoulders. vary intensity by moving your feet closer or farther from your groin. hold 5-7 minutes, breathing deeply.

100-year hikers
Mountain people on the Italian island of Sardinia reach their 100th birthday twice as often as the rest of us. One of their secrets? Walking through the mountains to find fresh pasture for their sheep.


Trail mix recipes by Esther Cohen (sevenbowls.com)
Yoga poses by Margaret Burns Vap (bigskyyogaretreats.com)


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READERS COMMENTS

Phyllis-displaced mountain lover
Jun 12, 2009

Don't forget to acclimate too. I live in Iowa and I give myself 2 days before I hit the Tetons. Definitely helps the shortness of breath us almost 50 somethings experience when hitting the trail. For training, I hit the Cybex machine in the gym for 30 minutes at 10% grade and a resistance of 35. Keep your strides between 120 and 130.

I'd rather not say
Jun 11, 2009

Oh my goodness! That picture is me! I used to be the younger guy.

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