Getting in Shape

In shape - need to be in better shape

Hi everyone,

New to posting here, and have a question for everbody.

Matt and I are going to Alaska this coming May to be married and do some day hikes- not climbing. We are both in pretty good shape we walk, mountain bike, do a bit of light weights.

My question is what can we do to prepare for hiking and the elevations. Anything special or just ramp upour current workouts with some more cardio to help with the elevations?

Thanks, Brandy

Re: In shape - need to be in better shape

  • I would focus on strengthening your core and lower body, try using the stair climber machine if you have access to one to build up your endurance. I dont know specifically what to do to prepare for higher elevation hiking, but i would think that would help!

    Have fun!
  • i agree on the stair climber or if you have a treadmill like i do it has elevations on it i would raise it up so you are use to walking up inclines
  • As you increase in elevation, you're decreasing the amount of oxygen available and ramping up your lactic acid production (the stuff that makes you "sore" aftering working out). What "real" hikers do when they're going to be in elevation and exercising is to first stay there a few months in order to build up enough red blood cells to transport as much oxygen as they can get. Since you don't really have this option, you're going to have to be creative Wink

    What'd I'd do is get to the gym and focus on cardio, focusing primarily on your legs. Like someone said before, the stairmaster wouldn't be a bad idea. When you do get to elevation a lot of your blood flow is going to be going to your legs while you are hiking (since your legs are the things that are working overtime). When you are in the plane ride to Alaska, be sure to use specialized flight socks to be sure that you're creating blood flow to your legs. Usually while sitting for long periods of time blood will pool in your lower extremities; these socks promote contractions in your legs to get fresh blood in their and stale blood out, which will in essence give you more oxygen to that region.

    Be sure to take lots of water, and excedrin wouldn't be a bad idea. When you are in elevation your blood vessels will undergo vasoconstriction, which can cause headaches and make it harder for blood to flow effeciently. Any caffeine will dilate your vessels, and excedrin has a decent amount in it.

    Personally, I wouldn't start hiking the day I get to Alaska. I'd give myself a couple days to let my body get used to the elevation before trekking out.

    Best of luck to you, you'll have a blast! Smile
  • thank you thank you...for the great ideas..

    I (young as I am) actually have and wear compression stockings to work - never thought about the plane ride - although I do know better - I tell my patients all the time.

    We did consider a bit of the "get used to being there" idea and we will spend a few days buming around Anchorage before heading to the lodge. While we aren't climbing mountains - we do want to be smart about aproaching this.. stairmaster it is then... Bring it on..yuck I hate running steps.

    Thanks again...
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