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Fitness Quest: Hike Mount Everest

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Mount Everest is the tallest peak in the world, rising 29,029 feet above sea level; however, the route to the summit via Nepal is way longer than that, beginning in Lukla and winding its way up to the very top of the world (literally) — an estimated total distance of 52½ miles. You’d be nuts to hike that, right?

Exactly. So, let’s do it!

To calculate the work needed to complete this challenge, we took the stride length of the average woman — 2.1 to 2.5 feet — which comes out to about 2,000 steps per mile. Multiply 52.5 by 2,000 and you get 105,000 steps. 

With this quest, your goal is to hike/walk to the summit in 30 days — without the burden of frostbite and altitude sickness. You can either walk on a treadmill or outside — whichever you prefer and whichever weather permits! The catch? You cannot count your “daily steps” toward your climbing mileage. In other words, steps logged while walking around town, shopping, cleaning the house or anything else are not eligible. Set aside dedicated time to do the work for it to count.

Below are some tips from your Fitness Quest coach, former gymnast and repeat American Ninja Warrior athlete Angela Gargano — plus, three potential plans to get your 105,000 steps in within the month.

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Plan 1: Slow and Steady

  • With this plan you’ll log 1.75 miles per day (that’s 3,500 steps) for 30 days.
  • This plan gets your daily trek over in short shrift, and can be done any time of day or even before or after another workout.
  • Work at a moderately challenging pace to make the most of every step.

Plan 2: Middle of the Road

  • With this plan you’ll walk 3.5 miles per day (that’s a total of 7,000 steps) for 15 days
  • These longer workouts are a great addition to your active rest days or cross-training protocols, especially if you’re lifting heavy in the gym.

 Plan 3: Hardcore Hitter

  • Here you’ll be walking 5.25 miles per day (a total of 10,500 steps) for 10 days.
  • This plan is not for the faint of heart but is great for an avid outdoorswoman with access to long trails and day hikes. Remember to bring plenty of hydration and even a snack or two for these lengthy treks.

Walking Uphill

This option could very well be your chance to earn your Badassery Badge. Since the goal is to summit a virtual mountain, why not take your training uphill?

 You can:

  • Set your treadmill to an incline.
  • Find a long, gradual hill nearby.
  • Source some long, local hikes to make your training more terrain-legit.

Stay tuned for midpoint and end-of-challenge videos and more Oxygen Fitness Quests at the main quest page.

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