Who prioritize fitness for your upcoming and future safaris?

McKenzie Sims

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I have an interesting question who here prioritizes fitness and health for their up coming and future Safaris?

I personally really took a gut check on the topic After doing two back-to-back Safaris in 2022 being 26+ pounds heavier at the time with cardio being next to non and this was while owning a gym.

Over the last year I’ve really dialed it in and started planning to enjoy these great hunts more and to be able to do them longer into my life. Today I hit the 63.5-mile mark for the month of April and still have 20 days left with the goal of logging 5 miles minimum per day. Last year I did my firs half marathon, first spartan trifecta weekend and even attempted a marathon before my knee gave up on me at mile 22 and stopping my running for 5 months. Now back at it strong and ready to keep moving the needle forward.

Would love to see who else enjoys fitness like myself and share what we do to keep going and stay in the best shape possible.
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I just prioritize fitness for hunting in general. We are going to Africa in 59 days (but who’s counting down) and I’ve been working out a fair bit for that and because I have to pack test at work and it’s fire season. And I’m shallow enough to not want to have gut for the summer. I’ve been hitting the weights pretty hard and running hills 2-3 days a week. Nothing long just 2-4 mile runs in the desert behind the house. I also hopefully will be chasing coues deer in the mountains here at home and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a sweet high country mule deer tag in Colorado so I’ve got some fairly rugged hunts planned this year.
 
I definitely do, although it is more important to be in good shape for my hunts in Montana in the fall.
I run regularly, about 40-50 miles a week. I step on the scale every day. It is harder as I get older. Staying fit is an every day decision. Being in good shape makes it much easier to shoot after either a long walk or a short run. I can enjoy a hunt more if I am in good shape.
 
I just prioritize fitness for hunting in general. We are going to Africa in 59 days (but who’s counting down) and I’ve been working out a fair bit for that and because I have to pack test at work and it’s fire season. And I’m shallow enough to not want to have gut for the summer. I’ve been hitting the weights pretty hard and running hills 2-3 days a week. Nothing long just 2-4 mile runs in the desert behind the house. I also hopefully will be chasing coues deer in the mountains here at home and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a sweet high country mule deer tag in Colorado so I’ve got some fairly rugged hunts planned this year.
Heck yea I love to see other prioritizing fitness for any and all hunts!! I’m debating on burning my AZ points for a coues tag this fall as well and should have a Wyoming moose tag so will need some pack out fitness for that one lol.

Man 59 days out from Africa how damn exciting, I hope to see pics when you return!
 
I definitely do, although it is more important to be in good shape for my hunts in Montana in the fall.
I run regularly, about 40-50 miles a week. I step on the scale every day. It is harder as I get older. Staying fit is an every day decision. Being in good shape makes it much easier to shoot after either a long walk or a short run. I can enjoy a hunt more if I am in good shape.
Couldn’t agree more! It’s a day by day win the battle for me as well watching what I eat and getting the movement in. Got any big hunts in Montana planned this year? I should be drawing my Wyoming moose tag that’s my big NA hunt for the year.
 
I've pontificated on this before around here, but at my advanced age, I've learned to stay in condition year-round. It's just simply less painful vs. "getting into shape" for a hunt.

I'm fortunate that I can do daily morning 5-mile strolls in the foothills around the shack, always packing a ~9.5 lb+ rifle in my hands. I switch to using a rifle sling when the snow is too deep and I need to use walking sticks to keep me from face planting. Then there's pushups, crunches, and the evil chinup bar waiting for me back at the shack to complete my morning routine.

This way, if a short-notice hunt happens to drop in my lap, I'm always ready to go.
 
Hunting or not I log 3-6 miles on a standard day. Could be straight running, hiking with a pack or a combination.
 
I will be heading on my first South African safari in less than 60 days with Frontier Safaris. I hit the gym 5 - 6 times a week normally but I am getting on the treadmill more in preparation and setting the incline at 10% - 12% incline to help my endurance. Now that Spring is breaking, I'm upping the hiking and outdoor activities as well. I'm 48 and keeping the "dad bod" at bay isn't as easy as it once was.
 
I've pontificated on this before around here, but at my advanced age, I've learned to stay in condition year-round. It's just simply less painful vs. "getting into shape" for a hunt.

I'm fortunate that I can do daily morning 5-mile strolls in the foothills around the shack, always packing a ~9.5 lb+ rifle in my hands. I switch to using a rifle sling when the snow is too deep and I need to use walking sticks to keep me from face planting. Then there's pushups, crunches, and the evil chinup bar waiting for me back at the shack to complete my morning routine.

This way, if a short-notice hunt happens to drop in my lap, I'm always ready to go.
Yup 100% agree can never be to prepared especially when a good last minute hunt comes up!

Walking is the miracle drug doctors do t tell you about.
 
If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready. I exercise every day. Jog or hike 5-6 miles a day and lift weights 4-5 days a week as well. I’ve gone from 320 pounds in 2018 to 235 now. I’ve maintained my current weight for the last 2 years. I started getting serious about health and fitness in 2018 in preparation for a sheep hunt in 2021. One of the best decisions of my life. I am in the best physical shape of my life at 51 years old. I figure there are more buffalo and elephant that I want to be able to track and a few more mountain hunts I want to do here in NA and I’d better stay in as good of shape as possible if I want to be able to chase after my dreams.
 
I have a fear of being the weak link in the chain. I would hate to turn up at camp an not be able to do whatever it is that needs to be done. Fitness is a lifestyle for me, not a test. The alternative lifestyle is not ok in my books.
 
I have an interesting question who here prioritizes fitness and health for their up coming and future Safaris?

I personally really took a gut check on the topic After doing two back-to-back Safaris in 2022 being 26+ pounds heavier at the time with cardio being next to non and this was while owning a gym.

Over the last year I’ve really dialed it in and started planning to enjoy these great hunts more and to be able to do them longer into my life. Today I hit the 63.5-mile mark for the month of April and still have 20 days left with the goal of logging 5 miles minimum per day. Last year I did my firs half marathon, first spartan trifecta weekend and even attempted a marathon before my knee gave up on me at mile 22 and stopping my running for 5 months. Now back at it strong and ready to keep moving the needle forward.

Would love to see who else enjoys fitness like myself and share what we do to keep going and stay in the best shape possible.View attachment 598778
I am one of those who stays in shape all year not just before a safari. I am 65 and weigh the same as I did when I played college football. I tore up both knees doing that sport so no jogging. I power walk 20-30 miles each week with pushups and core exercises using no weights. My power walks involve. mountain twice per week. A month before a safari i do take my 15 pound cardio bar with me to simulate my rifles
 
I am one of those who stays in shape all year not just before a safari. I am 65 and weigh the same as I did when I played college football. I tore up both knees doing that sport so no jogging. I power walk 20-30 miles each week with pushups and core exercises using no weights. My power walks involve. mountain twice per week. A month before a safari i do take my 15 pound cardio bar with me to simulate my rifles
Ya, a 15 lb cardio bar would simulate rifles (plural!!).
That is a good regular baseline of exercise.
I always think that I’m training today so the me tomorrow can keep up.
I don’t drink alcohol (anymore) so exercise is a necessity for keeping mentally balanced too.
 
I do about 60 minutes on a stairmaster a day. I try to mix it up and do hikes and lift weights here and there. It keeps me to where I am ok, but I wouldnt say I am in shape.
 
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I’m no bodybuilder but hopefully I’m not doing too bad for a 72 year old. I swim for an hour every morning & take an hour long stroll every evening. I eat pretty much whatever I want, but in moderate quantities (and always accompanied by a salad). Fortunately, I can still hunt the way I used to hunt when I was in my 30s & 40s. I just hope that I stay this way for the foreseeable future.

I always carry my own rifle on safari and still prefer on-foot stalks as my No. 1 favorite method of hunting. I still shoot mostly with iron sights.

My father is one of my greatest inspirations. 92 years young & he still regularly hunts golden snipe by walking them up in the rice paddy fields behind our family home.

I highly prioritize physical & psychological fitness. If you do not take care of your health while you’re young, then it WILL come back to haunt you.

We unfortunately see a lot of hunters these days who are quite obese and have great difficulty during the more physically challenging hunts. I see quite a few You Tube videos of hunters on safari. Many of the hunters get completely breathless & covered in perspiration just by walking for a few minutes through the African bush.
 
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I applaud and am envious of you all…where do you find the time to do all this exercise. Are there some hidden 25th and 26th hours in a day that I do not know about? :)
 
@VertigoBE

I get up early and get it done before I do anything else for the day on most occasions. If you want to start on the better health journey here is what I recommend. Commit to walking 1 mile a day, EVERYDAY, for 30 days. No missed days, rain or shine. Most folks can walk a mile in 20-25 minutes. 20-25 minutes committed a day can be early morning, lunch break, after supper in the evenings.

After 30 days you will feel better and your body will crave the activity/walking. That’s how I started in 2018 and now I jog 5-6 miles a day and get plum anxious if I miss in the morning ing for some reason and have to work out later in the day. Hope this helps. If I can do it then anybody can do it.
 
I applaud and am envious of you all…where do you find the time to do all this exercise. Are there some hidden 25th and 26th hours in a day that I do not know about? :)
Youve got to find the time. Think about how you really spend your time in a day and I’ll bet you can find 30 minutes you spent doing something less important than exercise.

I get up and run at 0430 2-3 days a week. I lift weights at lunch. Luckily I have a job that requires me to be in shape as well.

For anyone looking for some inspiration I’ll suggest the book “Comfort Crisis” by Michael Easter. We have a flag hung in our gym at the office that simple states “Comfort is a Slow Death. Prefer Pain.” That flag is not wrong.
 
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72 and three decades of that in the Army, so I never run anymore if at all possible - that will eventually destroy knees faster than anything. I am fortunate because we retired to our pecan farm ranchette here in Texas. I am constantly on the tractor, using a chain saw, stacking down timber, or mowing. I eat what I like - though most would call it largely Mediterranean. I religiously have two glasses of wine at dinner and often one for lunch. I can also highly recommend an occasional Irish, single malt, or cognac before bed. I take no meds and though steep terrain is more challenging these days, I can still walk down a buffalo or eland with anyone.

I do still manage mountains. This capercaillie was taken in the Austrian Alps last year at this time, and we are off to the Gredos in a week.

IMG_8724.jpeg
 
I walk year round, I get in 3 to 8 miles of uninterrupted walk at lunch depending on how much time I have. As a hunt approaches I will try to up that to 10 to 12 miles a day.
Running is out of the question for me, I played catcher in baseball for 20 plus years, while my knees are in good shape it’s my back that drove me to retirement. Up and down hills is taken as it comes as long as it is taken methodically and carefully. I would walk in hilly terrain but I live on the very flat gulf coast and it would require some travel time and I despise treadmills.
 

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