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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



Fitness Hero
Abby Watkins, 39

Watkins is a four-season athlete with a guiding problem. She leads climbing, mountaineering, and ski-touring expeditions up to 20 days each month. Her secrets? A nearly bottomless tank of energy that keeps her breaking trail when others are taking breaks; three-hour climbing workouts on her "off days"; and the know-how to avoid overdoing it. "If you wake up feeling tired, or like your exercise routine is suddenly more taxing, you're flirting with overtraining," Lynn Millar advises. But productive rest doesn't mean inactivity. Millar adds, "If you're stiff or sore, doing nothing usually makes it worse." Watkins unwinds with a yoga routine to get the blood flowing, loosen stiff muscles, and promote healing. "Take a day off here and there," says Millar. Resting will ward off the need for a long recovery–and help keep injuries from becoming chronic later in life.
Photo Courtesy The North Face

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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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