The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!


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Go Climb a Mountain

shutterstock_151437512Mountain climbing is not for everyone. Even seasoned and well-conditioned athletes wouldn’t dream of taking on the challenge of summiting some of the world’s tallest peaks. The rigorous preparation for and the actuality of mountain climbing requires a fierce commitment and peak physical health.

Again, it’s not for everyone.

That being said, if you’ve reached a point in your life and in your training regimen that you’d like to consider tackling a peak, there are many things to consider. Read on to learn more about how to prepare for what will undoubtedly be one of the most grueling, frustrating, and thrilling adventures of your life.

Choose Your Peak

While it might seem logical to think of Mount Everest as the white whale of mountain climbing, in fact many seasoned climbers find other, lower peaks to be more challenging and more accessible. If you live in the United States there are mountains in Colorado and Alaska that might be just the challenge that you’re looking for.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa is another option that combines climbing and adventure into one incredible package. Europe also boasts several peaks that will test your strength and stamina. Whether it’s at home or abroad, once you’ve chosen your mountain do some research and learn more about what other successful climbers have to say about that particular climb.

Train, Train, Train

You might think that you’re in top shape, but mountain climbing is something entirely different. Not only do you need the physical strength to make the summit, but you also need an incredible amount of stamina.

If you’ll be going with a group or a guide you should be able to learn exactly what you’ll need to carry in your pack and how much weight to expect. Add twenty pounds to that start working. Run with your pack on, hike with your pack on, and do everything that you can to increase your stamina and endurance. Using your heart rate monitor during this type of training can give you great information about your progress.

shutterstock_109553405See Your Doctor

Keeping in touch with your personal physician is always a great idea when you undertake any type of specific and rigorous training, but for mountain climbing you’ll want to discuss an entirely different set of issues. The main one is the altitude of your chosen peak. If your doctor is not familiar with high altitude and the physical problems it can cause perhaps ask for a reference to a sports medicine physician familiar with the subject.

Altitude affects everyone differently but altitude sickness is no joke. If you’ve never spent time at high altitudes you’ll have no idea how your body will be affected, but even if you’ve done high-altitude climbs before with no ill effects, that’s no guarantee you won’t be stricken on your next climb.

Medication to combat the symptoms of altitude sickness does exist, but the best way to protect yourself is by ensuring that your cardiovascular system is in top condition.

Climbing a mountain can be one of the most personally satisfying experiences in any athlete’s life. Just be sure that you are adequately prepared and ready to take on the challenge.

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Fun Activities That Pack a Calorie-Burning Punch

One of the hardest things about exercising and working out is the fact that most of it lacks the element of fun. Sure, you can catch up on episodes of “Scandal” while on the treadmill, but the fact remains that you’re still on a treadmill, and that’s not much fun.

Thankfully, those who create and design workout methods and routines are constantly on the lookout for ways to keep us engaged in exercise. While these workout creations are becoming more fun, they still don’t fully replace immersive games and sports that are challenging, active, and highly entertaining.

If you’re bored with your current workout and would like to add something new to your routine, consider some of these fun activities that just happen to burn a lot of calories.

flying disk on the beachPlaying With Flying Discs

While many of us are known to play with flying discs (like Frisbees) at the beach or at a backyard barbecue, we might not know that an hour of Frisbee can burn over 500 calories. Of course you’ll have to maintain a steady playing pace for that hour, but if you have a high energy child or an enthusiastic dog, you might find that the hour flies right by.

For the really athletic flying disc enthusiasts, see if there is an ultimate league in your area. Played like rugby but with a disc in place of a ball, ultimate is a high-energy, fun way to work out.

Horseback Riding

Learning to ride a horse can be difficult, but it is also a very physically challenging pursuit. Ask an experienced rider if an hour in the saddle is a workout and they’ll overwhelmingly agree that it is. Almost every muscle in the body needs to be engaged to maintain the proper position in the saddle, as well as to control the 1,200 pound animal you’re sitting on.

An hour spent actively in the saddle can burn as many as 400 calories. A simple trail ride at a walk won’t be enough, however. You’ll need to really work yourself and your horse to achieve the maximum fitness potential that riding offers.

Hiking

Hiking is one of the best ways to get out of a boring workout routine and into something new and different. However, if you really want to maximize your hikes you should consider hiking with a loaded pack.

A few heavy books or water bottles can act as weights, and as you hike with twenty or thirty extra pounds, you’re really taking your efforts to the next level. Your leg and back muscles get a great workout, and you’re raising your cardio benefits, too. Increase the weight over time for maximum results.

putting on rollarbladesSkating

Whether you’re on ice or asphalt, skating is a fun and physical activity that can burn more calories than walking. Fast paced and engaging, skating is perfect for those who want to try something other than walking or running. It’s also relatively low impact so it’s easier on the joints.

Find a skating rink in your area and take the kids or your friends for a fun workout that strengthens your whole body.

It can be a real challenge to keep our workouts fun and exciting while maintaining their health benefits. Try some of these activities to reap the physical and mental rewards.