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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

Fitness Special—Hike Forever: Age 50-65

Fight the sedentary lifestyle and get a move on with these exercised and essential skill.s

by: Casey Lyons


 

 

Fitness Hero
George Dunn, 55 Meet Mt. Rainier's undisputed king. Dunn has bagged the 14,410-foot peak 495 times (and counting) on a mountaineering career that has taken him up 5.5 million vertical feet over 600 expeditions on five continents. And he continues to guide mountaineering trips between 50 and 75 days each year. His secrets: loving his job and staying in motion ("If you keep active your entire life, well, no one knows what the boundaries are," he says). Dunn stays trail-fit and prevents exercise boredom by mixing up his workouts. "Variation helps optimize training across the lifespan," says Kent Adams, director of the Human Performance Lab at California State University-Monterey Bay. Changes in training activate different muscles and decrease joint stress. Mix it up as much as possible with road and mountain biking, which naturally lend themselves to interval workouts. And simple changes to strength training (more weight/fewer reps; switching weight implements) will benefit overall muscle tone and fitness if done once every two or three weeks.
Photo by Jimmy Dunn



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Reader Rating: Star Star Star

READERS COMMENTS

Bushwalker
Mar 26, 2012

I too am in better shape from hiking than I was at 30. Great article to encourage both genders to either keep going or start getting out there.

Rob Williamson
Oct 31, 2011

I find that on MSN, Sympatico and Yahoo almost almost 100% of the health articles are geared towards women. It's nice to see a good article for men.
Thank you so much.

Rob Williamson
Oct 31, 2011

I find that on MSN, Sympatico and Yahoo almost all the health articles are geared towards women. It's nice to see a good article for men.
Thank you so much.

Ann
Jul 29, 2011

At 61 I plan on doing lots more hiking, biking and backpacking. But as a woman I guess I will just have to make up my own fitness plan since you neglected to include us!

Tumbleweed
Jul 23, 2010

Great advice for men. How about a similar article focusing on women? We ARE different, you know.

Vic Nunez
Jul 23, 2010

Most of the perceived exertion scales go 1-10; can you put it in terms of 1-10, or explain your scale range?

Dani
Jul 23, 2010

As a 57 year old women that hikes regularly and just did a four day BP trip in the John Muir Wilderness, I say: this article is completely guy-centric. Are you suggesting mature women don't want a good outdoor fitness experience?

Dani
Jul 23, 2010

As a 57 year old women that hikes regularly and just did a four day BP trip in the John Muir Wilderness, I say: this article is completely guy-centric. Are you suggesting mature women don't want a good outdoor fitness experience?

Daryl Sturdy
Mar 16, 2010

Re print page. I had to go to Print page in my browser and reduce the scale to 50% to get the whole page.

Henry GrosJean
Mar 16, 2010

I am 63 and have exercised my whole life. These are great suggestions as myself and a buddy climb a local hill in Phoenix, AZ 3-times per week and run up the last quarter of the hill. Great cardio!
We hike rim to rim in the GC every year.

tim buffington
Mar 16, 2010

Do what the article says, I am 67 and did 7 miles on snowshoes yesterday with a 25 pound pack. I regularly do 7 to 10 mile day hikes with pack at 8000 to 9000 feet in the summer. I'm able to do this because I have been following a similar program for a long time.

swampsis
Sep 25, 2009

So you say to do endurance hiking twice weekly for 45 minutes. What is endurance hiking, would love to partake

trailsprinter
Jul 07, 2009

Through regular weight training and hiking I can honestly say I'm in better shape now, at age 57, than I was when I started backpacking at 15. For example, I did a 17-mile day hike on the local trails a month ago. Couldn't have come close to that 42 years ago.

Jack Dettra
Jun 17, 2009

Yes, if you are going to "show" a Print the Page, make sure your program will print the page. It doesn't.

Elmer Cheatham
Jun 12, 2009

Great article! At 55 I can already relate to every item covered in the article. Maybe this will give me the encouragement I need to take corrective action before any more damage is done.

Thanks and keep up the good work. Great magazine.!

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