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#187569 - 11/03/14 09:00 AM Stamina improvment
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 878
Loc: Michigan
I was out backpacking last week and find that my stamina is really low. I will turn 75 this year so perhaps it is just getting old. I also had a stroke last year (PFO) but no noticeable damage. I also have COPD from spending a life time welding, grinding painting and smoking when I was young and foolish. In the past I could pretty much maintain 2 MPH but last week I was having trouble with 1 MPH. I would walk 500 feet and my legs would feel fatigued. Walk 500 ft, stop 1 minute makes for slow going.

I am right in mid range for weight, blood pressure is good, all other blood work is in the proper range.

I have been using the treadmill 30 minutes per day at 3 1/4 MPH 4-5 days per week and that goes just fine (other than boredom). Surprising but I do not feel the same leg fatigue when using the treadmill.

I am just fine with the slower pace but the leg fatigue gets rather unpleasant.

Any words of wisdom from other old farts? Something else I could or should be doing?

I bought a camper this year and I have been parking it in state forest campgrounds and hiking out and back one day and out and back the other direction the next day. This removes the pressure of must be at a goal for water, pick up etc. It is nice sleep on a bed and have real food but I also would like to do some backpacking.

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#187570 - 11/03/14 09:29 AM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: GrumpyGord]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1767
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Gord,
I'm a bit older than you and have had some of the same fatigue issues. For me, a 2 mph pace, with a pack, is sustainable but not as much fun as going a bit slower.

My exercise regimen includes a daily 2.5 mile outdoor walk. I also do about 12 miles on my mountain bike 2-3 times a week. And, twice a week I do two sets of lower body weight workouts: squats, lunges, heel raises etc. it is this last part that seems to most improve my endurance and horsepower. The weight routine takes about 30 minutes and does me a lot of good for an hour a week time investement. When I'm getting ready for a trip, I try to do at least one 8-10 mile day-hike per week; this is the other really helpful part of my routine.

A lot of COPD sufferers find benefit from the pursed-lip breathing technique. Properly done, it helps to expand ones lungs and improve endurance.


Edited by Pika (11/03/14 12:15 PM)
Edit Reason: Flawed punctuation
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#187573 - 11/03/14 12:52 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: Pika]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 878
Loc: Michigan
Thanks Pika.
I will have to investigate the lower body weight exercises. I can get a free health club membership with my medicare advantage plan but they do not do evaluations or custom plans. Like most solo backpacker introvert types I am not too interested in group type things where we all get together and dance. I am more interested in something I can do on my own and probably the lower body exercises can be done at home without a lot of equipment. Like most things actually educating yourself instead of just doing what you think should be right is important. It is easy to be doing things which actually are doing very little good when another activity would be far more beneficial.

As far as the COPD it is not really a big problem and is even less of a problem than it was in the past. Since my stroke I have been far more diligent about the treadmill and I have lost 10-12 pounds which helps by having more room for my lungs to expand. It has made a noticeable improvement.

Like most folks on exercise programs, apathy is easier than activity.

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#187584 - 11/04/14 12:16 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: GrumpyGord]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
You might want to start doing some stretching. I know that makes a big difference for me.

"welding, grinding painting and smoking"

Yeah, I did a lot of that too. I was pretty good about wearing respirators but I could always smell and taste stuff that got through those. Nasty stuff it was too.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#188917 - 02/04/15 07:29 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: GrumpyGord]
Tortoise Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/04/15
Posts: 4
Smoked for too long and worked in a factory environment around some harsh solvents for a bunch of years. last year I started doing that "rhythmic breathing" technique that P. Petzodlt recommended, when I was hiking in Cloud Peaks. I'm an out of shape flatlander and it seemed to help quite a bit . Tortoise

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#189358 - 02/24/15 04:00 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: Tortoise]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
The flatlanders I do fewer trips with now, sure do good in the mountains. I live at 4,000' and I do keep up and then some. Some groups, I'll make them younguns wonder about me.
Duane

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#195012 - 04/21/16 02:39 AM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: GrumpyGord]
ndwoods Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
I'm only 63 but was noticing my balance and flexibility waning a lot. And I was getting tired early in the day. I started Crossfit a few months ago and now I feel 20 years younger!
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http://ndeewoods.com/ and http://wilderstatepark.com/

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#195022 - 04/21/16 02:09 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: ndwoods]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
Just as fun and helpful is to join a climbing gym if one is nearby. I also find that regularly babysitting the little grandkids keeps one in shape! You are always squatting on the floor to get to their level, lifting and chasing after them.

I am convinced that flexibility/agility problems are a major factor in older backpackers quitting. At one point it is too difficult to live on the ground, get in and out of the tent and get up off the sleeping pad.

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#195047 - 04/23/16 12:00 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: wandering_daisy]
Ewker Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Just as fun and helpful is to join a climbing gym if one is nearby. I also find that regularly babysitting the little grandkids keeps one in shape! You are always squatting on the floor to get to their level, lifting and chasing after them.

I am convinced that flexibility/agility problems are a major factor in older backpackers quitting. At one point it is too difficult to live on the ground, get in and out of the tent and get up off the sleeping pad.


We sleep in hammocks so we don't have that problem of crawling out of a tent.

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#195048 - 04/23/16 12:05 PM Re: Stamina improvment [Re: Ewker]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
Hard to use a hammock when there are no trees. Not really an option for me.

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