As a travel writer and a health writer, the question of keeping fit and well on the road comes up a lot. For my part I work hard at it; I exercise as much as I can using whatever facilities or equipment are available to me, I add as much incidental exercise such as walking to my day, I use the stairs, and I watch what I eat. Largely it works, with the possible exception of five star cruises when too much seafood and champagne can take its toll!
For some overseas trips, however, it's necessary to get in shape before you start packing your suitcase. Last year, for example, I went on a six week campaign to get snow-fit before a trip to Thredbo to learn to ski. Focussing largely on leg strength, my plan worked pretty well; I did learn how to stay upright and glide down a gentle slope, and never ended up on my butt a single time!
I recently heard, however, about and old work colleague who's developed a fitness training program for anyone who wants to participate in something extreme, such as climbing Kilimanjaro or hiking the Kokoda trail. Called Altitude training, it was founded by exercise physiologist Allan Bolton, whose name you may recognise as being Weight Watchers' health and fitness guru for blokes. Allan is a professional who practices what he preaches; having lived with type 1 diabetes all his life, he had dedicated himself to the fitness and wellbeing of others throughout his career, and completed over 100 endurance events including two Ironman triathlons!
Altitude is a funny thing, and not everyone copes with it well, even if they are supremely fit. I recall arriving in Mexico City for the first time when I was the tender age of 18, and struggling with light-headedness and nausea for days. Another time, in Lake Tahoe in the summer, the same thing occurred.
Altitude training claims to deliver faster fitness as well as getting your body in shape for dizzy heights. One example, according to the information I received, is around a thirty per cent higher energy burn for the same exercise performed at sea level. The exercise studios are set with oxygen levels found at three thousand metres or higher, and they're packed with exercise equipment including treadmills, computerised racing bikes and more.
The good news, however, is that Altitude training isn't only for elite athletes or amateur who wants to climb the world's highest mouton. It's also great for anyone who needs shed a few kilos quickly, perhaps after their vacation! As I am about to embark on a cruise of the South Pacific in a few weeks, I might be giving Allan a ring myself…..
If you're interested in finding out more about this new way to train, visit www.sydneyaltitudetraining.com, or call 02 9969 8887.