Hiking and Fitness

Posted on October 18th, 2010 by Mic in Fitness Model Workout Ideas

View of the Grand Canyon from 25,000 feet
Image via Wikipedia


I just got back from a brief trip to the Grand Canyon with my wife.  Sort of an early anniversary for us. 

So what does that have to do with hiking and fitness?  You might think that hiking is pretty easy.  After all it is just walking, right?

Yes, it is just walking.  But, it is also different.  For one thing you are also going up and down.  The down part isn’t so bad, but the coming back up is a bit tougher. 

The other main difference is that the terrain is not even.  It is not like walking on a sidewalk or a treadmill.  There are rocks, stones, branches and even animals in the way. 

The ground has bumps and grooves and ridges.  And you have to remain alert.  After all you don’t want to walk over the edge and take the express trip to the bottom a 1/2 mile down. 

The amazing thing to me – besides the magnificent views – were the different types of people walking to the first stop and back up. 

There were young people and old people.  There were, men, women and children – even babies being carried. 

There were skinny, medium and fat people. 

Some were having a really hard time – especially going back uphill.  Others seemed to have no problem at all.  And surprisingly, it wasn’t always the thinner crowd that had the least problems. 

The only person that got really sick and almost passed out was a 40+ year old women that was not overweight at all.  But, she looked weak.  I saw here going down the trail and thought she was going to have a hard time. 

No energy, no stamina and no muscle power. 

On the other hand I saw a mother with her husband and three kids.  She was about 15-20 pounds overweight, but she was jogging back up with her oldest son – about 12 years old.  they would jog for awhile and then rest and jog again. 

Her husband and other two kids – one younger and one older than 12 – had more of a struggle. 

There were several older couples that were in great shape.  No, they didn’t have a body builder’s body, but they were walking down and up the trails with little effort. 

So what are the takeaways here.  One is that – yes you can be fit even if you are somewhat overweight. 

The other is that you can maintain your fitness levels well into old age. 

And the third is that if you are now out of shape, then it is time to get in shape. 

The woman who became sick because she was so sick and weak she couldn’t handle a simple short up and down hike is not a good one.  What started out as an enjoyable hike with her husband did not end well. 

So stay healthy, stay fit and stay strong.  If you aren’t there, then get there.  That way your fitness levels will support hiking and any other physical activities you do with your family or friends. 


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