DONNA DIXON, 52
Nurse at Mount Carmel Clinic (20 years), mom of three: Mitch, 28, Sam, 23, Katrina, 21; owner of super-fit pugs Mimi, 1, and Milo, 4.
You could call it extreme hiking, but it's just another vacation for Donna Dixon and her husband Dave. The couple have had numerous hiking adventures in recent years taking on challenging terrains across North America, including Mount Robson and the West Coast Trail in B.C. In the fall a few years ago, they hiked the Grand Canyon's South Kaibab Trail which is a 20-kilometre odyssey down to the Colorado River and back up. It took them 13 hours, after starting at 7 a.m.
"It's not recommended to do it in one day!" Donna said. "We had tried to get a permit (to camp overnight) and couldn't, they're very hard to get, so we just packed light, took food and water and we did it!"
Donna has run a full marathon in all 10 Canadian provinces and two territories as well as the Boston Marathon (2008) and Minneapolis. She will begin training shortly for her 15th, which may be her last, once she decides between Chicago this fall or Kamloops this summer.
Donna has never had any health issues and considers her healthy, active lifestyle to be a big reason.
"There is always something I enjoy doing outdoors, no matter what the weather."
1. Favorite workout?
Trail running all seasons, cross-country skiing at Niakwa Park Golf Course, long boarding at Birds Hill Park, bicycle commute to work (20 km return, but not in winter, then I bus and walk part way), hot yoga at Kildonan Moksha once a week, and walking/running the pugs at The Mint park and trail area.
2. Favourite workout song?
Counting Stars by One Republic, Howlin' for You by Black Keys and any Michael Franti song.
3. Fitness tip?
Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity a day, seven days a week. Try to work out with your family for quality time together and stay fit together.
The average adult loses 10 per cent of their muscle mass each decade from their 50s and on, and muscle strength declines as much as 15 per cent per decade starting in the 60s. I find this motivating and inspiring to keep extra active to delay and minimize these effects of aging.
4. What's in your fridge?
Lots of fresh vegetables, cottage cheese, medium cheddar, salsa, chunky peanut butter, whole grain bread, chicken, and sweet potatoes and real butter.
5. What's your guilty pleasure?
A simple indulgence of one heart-healthy dark beer most evenings. My current favourite is Bear Paw Honey, a craft beer from Whistler. Also chocolate-covered almonds with a cup of creamed Earl Grey tea.