When the colors change, the days become shorter, and the only thing falling faster then the leaves is the temperature. But just because the weather has taken a turn for the worst doesn’t mean that your workouts have to. Brian Archambault, Fitness Specialist at Edward Health & Fitness Center - Naperville shares a few tips that will help you start winding down your outdoor routine and transition into indoors.
Here are a few tips to aid the transition:
1. Winter is time to recover
It does not matter if you ran the Chicago marathon or just finished your first 5k, if you have pushed yourself hard it is time to tone down the intensity and recover. For elite athletes and weekend warriors alike, winter is the time of year for base training, not time off. This usually means training at a lower heart rate but for a longer duration.
2. Time to try something new.
There is no time like the present for cross training. Try tai chi, a yoga class, racquetball, or Zumba to add a little twist to your workout. Hire a personal trainer and get a fresh prospective on your workout and stay up to date with the newest equipment and exercises.
3. Time to work that ‘Core’
Many activities, such as cycling, heavily utilize the muscles in your abdominals and lower back but do nothing to build up the strength of these muscles. Our core stabilizes our upper body during most activities, from typing on a computer to playing football, and with a weak core, our performance suffers.
4. Get specific, Get Functional
During the winter months try a few new exercises or classes, while making sure the exercises still relate to the activities you were doing outside. If you have a long hiking trip planned for the spring, cardiovascular exercise should still be the foundation of your workout. Change it up though, by adding swimming or a spin class rather then jumping on the treadmill.
5. Look back and recognize your accomplishments.
Lets’ say you finished your first 10k run. Regardless of your time, that is an amazing accomplishment. Millions of people will never even attempt this in their lifetime, but you did. Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself with a message or a new pair of shoes.
6. Prepare for next year.
Now that you have taken some time to recover, it is time to start thinking about next year. Regardless of your activity, next years performance builds on the time and effort you put in last year. If you did your first 10k run and you want more, now is the time to start looking for new events and putting together a training schedule.