Tips from our ProStaff
|Staff - Pro Staff|
Get Fit and Stay Fit for the Outdoors!
Getting fit and staying fit is important for all outdoors persons, but especially us ladies. At all ages, we need to be strong enough to spend hours hiking and scouting in the woods. We need the strength to wear our back packs, day packs or turkey vest for lengths of time without growing weary. We need the upper body strength to pull our bow or shoulder a gun without trembling. We need to increase our lean muscle mass so we can do these things. Since lean muscles have more heat output, being fit helps us stay warm and avoid hypothermia. The beauty of fitness is that everyone attains it in unique ways that appeal to each individual, but the outcomes are the same: stamina and strength to enjoy and be safe when doing our outdoor sports.
We polled our WomenHunters ProStaff for their year-round fitness regimens and received some decidedly diverse feedback. We range in age from mid-30’s to nearly 60. In general, women have less lean muscle mass than men so we have to work harder to attain strength and maintain it. We all tend to lose muscle mass as we age. Endurance is tied to aerobic fitness which is not gender specific. We can all be aerobically fit. Here’s how a few of the WomenHunters ProStaff stay in the fitness groove:
Linda K Burch
Distance running 5K is my favorite aerobic activity, both for fitness and competing in races. I also cardio-kickbox to music, do in-line skating, power walking with my husband and snow shoe or work out at the gym in the winter months. At the gym I do a number of upper body machines and run on the treadmill. I use a Bowfit device to stay strong for pulling my bow. Besides running, just working around my cabin and land is physically challenging. Chain sawing trees, splitting wood with the log splitter, climbing trees to put up tree stands, farming my food plots, building things – all are great cross training.
Spring thru fall I try to run 3x/week and usually run 3 miles average. Sometimes I walk or bike. I love to run or walk outdoors and I do NOT have an Ipod as I enjoy listening to the peace and quiet and hearing the sounds of nature as I run. We take our two English Setters to the nearby "dog park" weekly and let them run while we walk the trails too. I belong to a gym and usually work out 3x/week mostly in winter months. I spend about 40 min of cardio work, splitting it between 20-30 min. running on the treadmill, 20-30 min. on the elliptical and 20-30 min. on the weight machines, working my legs, arms/shoulders & abs. In summer, we like to sea kayak on Wisconsin lakes and on Lake Superior. We also swim and water ski. In winter we like to snowshoe and downhill ski. My husband and I shoot our bows several times a week year round. Overall fitness is key to being a good hunter. You can't stalk all day in tough terrain, tough climates or at high altitudes if you're not fit.
I cross train throughout the year in order to keep in shape for hunting. I jog 3-5 miles a few times a week for good cardio conditioning. I usually do a long walk or the elliptical on days that I don't run in order to give my knees a break from running. I also hike the mountains in Montana almost every weekend looking for sheds or simply enjoying the views. Upper body strengthening is also important for hunting. I do an upper body lifting routine 2-3 days a week along with always hiking with a loaded backpack. Throughout the summer months, I also focus more on shoulder strength for the archery season in the fall.
Walk for 45 minutes 3 times a week. Stairs for 10 minutes.
Weight Training 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes, rotating arms, back, legs. I increase the time spent on legs as it gets closer to fall when I do the most hunting.
When my life was more settled, I also did aerobics twice a week but do not do that any more. Instead I try to swim once or twice a week, approximately 12 laps. The water is both a great exercise and an anti-inflammatory for joints and spine. Here is how a typical work out would look for me:
Stairs 10 minutes
Walk 40 minutes
Weight training 20-30 minutes
Walk or bike for 10 minutes
Stairs 5 minutes
Walk 20-30 minutes
Bike 10 minutes
Swim 40 minutes
Age 40 something
When the weather is above 35 degrees, throughout my week, I will mix up running a 2 mile trail with a 5 mile hike/run on mountainous terrain. The first 2 miles is around a 30% incline which makes for a good leg burn and lung stretch. I will have some form of exercise at a minimum of 5 days a week, and 90% of the time, it will include jogging. I regularly run the bleachers of the grandstands at our local fairgrounds. Not only is it a great cardio workout but great for the legs and preparing them for the inclines. On my hunts, it is not uncommon to start at 5000 feet and finish the morning out at 10 to 12,000 feet. I embrace the opportunity for manual labor and I get out and stay active as much as possible: snow shoeing in the winter, hiking year round, etc. I also get Zumba, Pilates, Body Flow, and Body Pump classes in whenever I can. I maintain upper body strength with various free weight exercises.
Lesa Ellanson (coming on ProStaff in June 2011)
I am a breast cancer survivor and also live with neurological issues. In addition to shooting (firearms) and archery practice, my family and I ride horses throughout the year whenever I am not hunting. I like to scoot around the farm on my vintage bicycle. I love to swim. I sometimes sling hay bales and clean stalls. I press weights at my home (5 - 10 lbs. on each arm) to maintain upper body strength. And I walk as often as I can with my greyhound, Lenny. I likewise teach NRA pistol, do riding instruction and enjoy salmon fishing in Kodiak, Alaska, every summer. Staying physically fit is essential.
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