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  • Hiking!!!

    I didn't see a thread with much hiking emphasis, so I'm starting one. Surprising, given that hiking seems as though it should be a lifestyle maintainer, or fitness method for paleo or just basic fitness folks. Then again, when I asked a question on a hiking website the responses all came from vegetarians and vegans, who while not really critical of paleo diets due to the nature of the website, they did make statements like, "I'm rocking the pasta", or, "meat just isn't for me anymore". Whatever, I always find that sort of thing annoying when asking if anyone is paleo, but I digress. So, as to not to make this another diet based discussion, here we go.

    I enjoy hiking, and think it's a great way to stay in shape. I got into it a lot after moving from the far eastern provinces of the country, to the nexus of enjoyment: the southwest. Partly by diet choices, and partly by hiking what in Flagstaff, Arizona is a local favorite: Mount Elden Lookout Trail #4, I dropped 15 pounds in 2 months and really got into pretty good shape. The trail is 5 miles round trip, and 2,400' up and down. Most times were in the 2:15 to 2:40 range, but I had a few that were right around 2 hours, and after an extended trip to Colorado a few years back, I made the summit in under 55 minutes without realizing I was going so fast. I did other hikes, too, but that was always a favorite.

    Up, and at altitude, tends to be my preference, and when I lived in Flag I routinely did a hike that led me up a steep 30 degree slope and I found that in the mid to upper 10,000' range, I was able to get a very enjoyable, not harsh, not too easy, but enjoyable cardio workout where I would have my heart pumping away at 140 to 145 BPM and after 2 or 3 minutes, I would have to stop and rest (which was when I counted my HR). I remember looking at my abdomen and seeing my stomach pulse from the blood moving through my aorta! The sort of thing that scares some doctors as they start thinking dissecting aneurism. Most of the time, I did not do that, as lower hikes tended to not be as demanding, and above 11,000' it was too steep and the altitude prevented that level of exertion. That said, I still got to the 140s when I would make short sprints up the Elden trail.

    I have not lived in Flagstaff for nearly 2 years, I still hike and have a clear preference for peaks. For example, today I am going to go out and hike Ortega Peak, a local mountain hill that will net me 3100' and almost 8 miles of hiking. I usually go out and hike about 2 times a week on average, sometimes more, and tend to take about 3 1/2 hours to hike my usual routine. I do have to stop at times to catch my breathe, but in general I do not furiously push myself. I have fooled with a heart monitor at work and like seeing my HR fall to sinus bradycardia at times while resting. My lowest was 46 BPM, and I tend to stay in the lower to middle 50s. Perhaps, my present and former fitness level put that at a cardio training level, but I never saw it as cardio training, even if it might have been, but I was and am just out for fun.

    My point to this? I don't run, and except at work where I walk around at a moderate pace often, I don't move slowly all the time. Instead, about 2 or 3 times a week, I hike. I figure, combined with my 1 hour, 3 x a week weight lifting, I have a very nice paleo routine, which I enjoy. My job is stressful, almost excessively at times, but I like to take it easy the rest of the time. So, back on topic, I see hiking as a very enjoyable and perfect way to excercise, and in an old fashioned paleo kind of way. Oh yeah, my diet tends to be very paleo these days.


    So, why do I not seem to see it discussed here, or why is it that most hikers I see who seem to be into fitness, seem to be on the other end of the spectrum (vegetarian and vegan)? I get that many on this board live in places with fairly miserable weather, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Minnesota, where ever. Still, I had a winter season that might be regarded as harsh for the state and I just threw on the snowshoes and went out. It need not always be a hard long hike, or a 5 mile 2,000' + hike. Many can find almost daily enjoyment or weekend fun with something that they can get in their area. So again, why doesn't hiking seem to be discussed here at any length?

    Incidentally, I used to use boots with orthotics as I have flat feet. They made things worse, and I ditched them briefly for 5 fingers, which are not good when it is cold or warm, and I never could do more than 5 miles. For a year now, I have use the merrell minimal shoes. They are OK, but I find I am limited to hiking lengths, generally under 10 miles. 10 to 15 miles is tolerable, but my feet are sore in the skin. I did a few 20 to 25 miles hikes last year, and found the pain to be nearly crippling. Not muscular or skeletal, by skin pain. Anyone have similar issues?

  • #2
    I am possibly the biggest hiking proponent there is....I am a physician, and I use it as a very frequent recommendation to my patients.

    I actually hike fairly often barefoot or in my 3yo Vibrams that my heel is through. I am insane of course, but it still does the job. In the winter I am big into skijoring with the dog and snowshoeing around. We got almost 100 inches of snow last year though on my mountain, so it's kind of a necessity.

    Overall I think hiking, at least when done over some decent elevation, is much superior to traditional jogging. It usually keeps the heart rate elevated by not out of range, builds good muscle and tendon strength, and doesn't give the joint hell that big miles of jogging can do.

    My patented fat loss hack is to do big hikes during long fasts. My personal favorite is Mt Mansfield in western Vermont. About 5 miles each direction and snow on it 2/3 of the year, but snowshoeing the end of it to cap a 36 hour fast will rip you up in a hurry
    "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

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    • #3
      I walk for exercise. I tend to walk 6k per day. Takes me an hour.

      I find it is a brilliant way to start my day. I am not a physician but a physical therapist - uk

      I can't run my knees wouldn't hold out and I prefer walking

      I live in the middle of the rolling English countryside so exploring the tiny country lanes is great fun

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      • #4
        I hike quite a bit, but I live in Colorado so it'd be a waste not to. Big mountains, easy hikes, short, long...whatever. As long as I see cool stuff I'm happy.

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        • #5
          BIG proponent of hiking here - but as a NJ/NY native, it's more secondary nature to me. I agree - it is absolutely great for fitness. I've been bumming around Colorado for the summer. Just did my first solo hike at Lily mtn w/ the dog last weekend. AND SAW A MOUNTAIN LION!!! talk about getting your heart rate up

          Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
          I hike quite a bit, but I live in Colorado so it'd be a waste not to. Big mountains, easy hikes, short, long...whatever. As long as I see cool stuff I'm happy.

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          • #6
            Have wondered about that too JimH -- why so little hiking discussion on here. Just assumed I wasn't looking in the right places but your post is great! After a 6 hour drive across the state on Sunday, in 90 degree temp, I pulled off to one of my fave short trails that follows a river upstream to some falls and just got right into the water. Heaven.

            I agree; who cares about the weather, just go out. The best time is when the weather is funky I think. I'm looking to buy a pair of LaSportiva hiking boots, they are so damn comfortable! Love my Vasques but they don't make them anymore. Have had them for 20 years nearly. love love love them.

            Can't speak to your flat foot problem as I'm high arch but what about those lovely, molded to your anatomical needs foot beds that they can do for you in the store? I think they heat them up to make them mold...

            About pee'd myself looking at your pic Anthony--I handstand against any willing Cedar tree on my hikes but on a lookout edge...eeehehe!! Freaking me out.
            Last edited by spk; 08-28-2013, 02:44 PM.

            “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

            Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PrimalRFG View Post
              BIG proponent of hiking here - but as a NJ/NY native, it's more secondary nature to me. I agree - it is absolutely great for fitness. I've been bumming around Colorado for the summer. Just did my first solo hike at Lily mtn w/ the dog last weekend. AND SAW A MOUNTAIN LION!!! talk about getting your heart rate up
              I had the same reaction when I saw one. Crazy huh? What happened w/ you? Did it see you or were you lucky to see it at a distance, unnoticed by the cougar? Mine was at a distance, I was behind it and I watched it saunter right up a main trail, in broad daylight and then turn into a shrubbery as an elderly man and his dog rounded the bend near it. Get the heebie jeebies everytime I go by there now.

              “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

              Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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              • #8
                I love hiking too. Once a week I go for around four hours (gotta get there and back during school time) in our national park. Rain, snow or shine. Here's where I had lunch one day:
                Annie Ups the Ante
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                • #9
                  Not to hijack this thread - because I would love to talk about hiking more, but this just happened a few days ago so I'm still jazzed about it:

                  My dog and I rounded a bend on the way back down the trail and saw a furry, earthy colored animal run down a tree on the left side of the trail. It didn't seem like any kind of usual small varmint on a trail, so I paused with the dog to collect my thoughts and look around. Nothing. Took five more steps, and all of a sudden I hear a giant hissing sound, look to the right of the trail and there is a mtn lion 25 feet away, a few feet off the trail in the brush (must have been her cub that ran down the tree). She finishes hissing, we make eye contact, she then growls. She isn't in a pounce position fortunately. Prob just trying to protect her cub(s). I didn't really know what to do so I violated some rules, but I immediately picked up rocks and stuffed them in my pockets and held onto a few to prepare to throw them if she attacks (not supposed to bend down around a mtn lion apparently). I grab my dog's leash tight, we back away, and then book it (w/o running) back up the trail. Mind you this was early morning and I hadn't seen anyone on the way up the trail. We get back to the really steep incline, as I am continuously pausing and looking around to make sure I'm not being stalked. Finally, there is an older gentleman coming down the trail (he had taken a different route up the trail so we missed each other). I tell him what I saw, and he just says, 'that's awesome that you saw one! I've been hiking this trail for years and have never seen one.. let's go down together - we'll be fine.' Based on not knowing a damn on what to do, this guy was like a guardian angel. Haha - it was quite the experience, man.


                  Originally posted by spk View Post
                  I had the same reaction when I saw one. Crazy huh? What happened w/ you? Did it see you or were you lucky to see it at a distance, unnoticed by the cougar? Mine was at a distance, I was behind it and I watched it saunter right up a main trail, in broad daylight and then turn into a shrubbery as an elderly man and his dog rounded the bend near it. Get the heebie jeebies everytime I go by there now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PrimalRFG View Post
                    Finally, there is an older gentleman coming down the trail (he had taken a different route up the trail so we missed each other). I tell him what I saw, and he just says, 'that's awesome that you saw one! I've been hiking this trail for years and have never seen one.. let's go down together - we'll be fine.' Based on not knowing a damn on what to do, this guy was like a guardian angel. Haha - it was quite the experience, man.
                    Holy. Cripes. That is amazing. This is the perfect spot to discuss this! No wonder you are still buzzing after this encounter.

                    Once on a weekly trail, I was walking quietly w/ my companion when out of the corner of my eye I saw a form. And for some silly reason my brain said, "gee that's funny, the parks people put up an 8ft bear statue to freak people out". Duh. No, it was a bear, telescoped up on his tippy toes, trying to figure out what we were since he couldn't see us.

                    What is up with all the older gentlemen on the trail who come by just after a mtn. lion....so funny.

                    “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                    Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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                    • #11
                      Hiking is pretty much my go-to exercise; I do it almost every week (I live in a mountainous area, lots of hikes). I am also very far from being a vegetarian, hah.
                      Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

                      Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
                      Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
                      Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
                      F/23/5'9"

                      26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

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                      • #12
                        Hi just to say I use the Merrel barefoot shoes for hiking as well and actually find I am less prone to aches and pains, although I haven't used them in Winter and did get one niggle in my foot after having walked for three days on the Wales coastal path, which is pretty tough going in parts. Generally my view is that the minimalist shoes are the best option and you just have to acclimatise to them. Not sure what others think.
                        Healthy is the new wealthy.

                        http://www.facebook.com/groups/ances...handnutrition/

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                        • #13
                          I walk as often as possible, about 4 x per week. (When does a walk become a hike?) I used to go for a 8-12 miler once per week but I have no one to go with anymore and it's too boring to go by myself for that long. And a little dangerous. Today I walked a paved multi-use trail for 5 miles. I have started wearing a weighted vest that I made from an old denim vest. I had been wearing a backpack, but it is bulky and throws off my balance.

                          I am fortunate to live near a variety of public lands with trails. When I go on unpaved trails, I always go barefoot now, and I love it. Our soil is either beach sand or rarely, mud, with no rocks. We have no real elevation, though.

                          I have walked more this summer than any in the past, in spite of the heat. One of the coolest things about being Primal is that I require very little water. Has anyone else experienced this?
                          As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.

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                          • #14
                            I hike 3-4 times a week and about once a month do a long 8-12 mile hike. I live in MT near Yellowstone so have many options. Otherwise I walk just about every day. These are my go to exercises as I do not to run at all. I figure the push on a steep elevation climb or switchbacks is equivilant to sprinting because it sure gets your heart racing.

                            Footwear - summer my Tevas, winter my Vasques (which are still available). You can resole your vasques. Send them back to the company runs about $75.

                            Jeanne

                            Sent from my SCH-I925 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jdmt View Post
                              winter my Vasques (which are still available). You can resole your vasques. Send them back to the company runs about $75.

                              Jeanne Sent from my SCH-I925 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                              They discontinued my model of Vasques (mens) and back a few years ago, they wouldn't resole. I'll have to try again, thanks for mentioning this Jeanne.

                              “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                              Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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