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Fitness Special—Hike Forever: Age 50-65

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

 

 

Eat Right and Stay in Shape

The best way to burn unwanted body fat (one of the "gifts" of middle age) is through good nutrition. It sounds contradictory, but according to dietician Esther Cohen, eating more omega-3 fatty acids will help trim your waistline. Found in "wild meat," like grass-fed beef, organ meat, and especially wild salmon, trout, and sardines, omega-3s help the body metabolize stored fat into energy. They also strengthen immunity, decreasing the risk of chronic illness

Muscle Mix
Fuel up–and aid recovery–with this long- trail longevity formula full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

1 cup raw pine nuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups spicy southwest walnuts with cayenne and cumin
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup black currants
3/4 cup dates, chopped
1 cup dried apples, chopped

Ancient Superfood
3,000 years ago, aztec indians munched chia seeds before running long distances. chia seeds have high doses of omega-3 fatty acids, lots of fiber, and protein to speed recovery after long runs.

Cross-train for big fitness gains
1. Mountain biking Pedaling up steep, uneven terrain builds leg power while giving joints a break. It also activates core muscles, important for combating the compressive forces of backpacking on the spine. Sub 8-10 hilly miles into your normal routine once or twice a week.

2. Road biking Great for endurance and explosive power, cycling enables prolonged training at sustained, varied intensities with none of the impact associated with running. Intervals increase VO2max. Ride 15-25 miles on hilly roads (varying your pace between mild and maximum exertion) once or twice a week.

3. Swimming Yes! A zero-impact sport that builds mega-endurance and lungs like Michael Phelps (okay, maybe). A freestyle stroke promotes full range of motion in shoulders and back, which battles stiffness, and resistance builds cardiovascular and muscular strength. Do .25 to .5 mile on endurance days.

Longevity Pose
Child’s Pose to Down Dog
This yogic cure-all strengthens shoulders to help erase pack pain, a common complaint among baby boomers. It also releases hamstrings and calves. How: Child’s Pose: Sit on your heels with the tops of your feet touching the ground. fold over your bent legs, reaching your arms in front of you. press palms into the ground and hang your head between them. Hold 5-10 breaths. Down dog: tuck your toes under, press into your hands, and lift your hips up and back. straighten your legs as much as possible and let your heels hang heavy. Hold 5-10 breaths.

Pad Your Peds
As you age you lose fat in the one place you want it: your feet. Make up for lost cushion–and increase comfort–with Thorlos’ KX hiking sock, with added padding in the ball and heel. ($14; thorlo.com)

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

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