Arthritis and Long-distance hiking
It wasn’t too long after I returned home from my first walk across France and Spain that I developed acute knee pain, which completely hobbled me for a couple of weeks. After a series of doctors and scans I got the diagnosis of severe osteoarthritis of the knee. One of the orthopedists said there’s basically a whole the size of a nickel through the cartilage of my right knee. Ouch, I thought. (more…)
Weights & Measures – part 2
Body or “Skin” Weight
Body weight or “skin” weight is simply the naked weight of a person. Just shed your clothes and hop on a scale and you have it. For ultralighters, it’s one of the standard figures used to calculate the total weight of everything that’s planning to walk down the trail. The more you weigh, the more energy it takes for you to travel a given distance. That translates into calories, which means fuel for you (food), and possibly, fuel to cook it (alcohol, gas, etc.). All fuel weighs something.
Body weight is an important factor in fitness, and creates the single heaviest load on your joints. Depending on the speed and slope that you’re walking, every pound of weight above the knees, exerts 3 to 5 pounds of force on your knees. Anyone with arthritis below the waist should be especially mindful. Even a 5 or 10 pound reduction in body weight is beneficial for helping to ease these effects. If you’re feeling a little portly and are planning a long walk, get out and start training today.