It's warming up, here in Wisconsin, and that means outdoor activities are not only possible, but comfortable and fun! Without that bitter cold, the possibilities for exercising outdoors expand, and we can consider running, roller blading, cycling, hiking, yoga poolside, and so much more! Living in a cold climate means you really appreciate this milder weather. Be sure to be ready for any and all outdoor activities by training now.
Equipment Outdoor cycling requires a bit of equipment: a helmet, a bike--of course you can get fancy and add cycling gloves and shorts, a jersey, and clips and clip in shoes--but most importantly, just get out there! If you are planning to run, be sure to get fitted with a good pair of shoes. A place like In Step will measure you, see how your foot behaves (pronate, supinate, arch issues), and they will recommend several options that will serve your feet well. Remember that what happens to your feet travels up the kinetic chain, through your knees, and up to your hips and even low back. Making sure you have the proper shoes will help to keep you injury free. If you decide to roller blade, be sure to wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, and know how to stop!
Training Whichever sport you choose, there is an indoor simulation for it. A treadmill can be used to train for running, a spin class for outdoor cycling, and the Wave for roller blading, as examples. But remember, indoors there are not "conditions"--no wind, rain, terrain--we are trying to simulate those things, but there will be a transition period to the outdoors. Keep in mind that running on a treadmill is smooth and has less impact than concrete or paved roads. Even if you are used to running inside, once you are outside on pavement, you can still get shin splints and other injuries. Try to change up your routine, some days using hills, some days running trails, and start smaller than what your are doing inside. A shorter distance will help you acclimate to the conditions of the road. The same idea applies to other outdoor sports. Start with a smaller distance and build up to prevent injury.
Enjoy Whatever you decide to try, have fun! Breathe the fresh air, absorb some sunshine (vitamin D), and stay active.
I'll still be teaching spinning throughout the spring, and based on demand, through the summer. My current classes are as follows:
Thursdays at 9:15 am, 45 minute class Saturdays at 11:30 am, 45 minute class (followed by a Core 30)
Sign up is still required for the Saturday class, and you can find that sheet at the front desk. Spinning is a great class for all levels. Even if you've never tried it before, you can come to a class and get a good workout. Because you are totally in charge of the resistance on your bike, you can control how hard you are working, so even for beginners, this is a GREAT class. Don't be scared! Just come and join me!
I'm calling this one a V-Reach. This exercise is great because it's working the muscle completely. You are getting the contraction from the bottom and the top, making it not only more intense, but more effective. Start with the legs up, inhale at the bottom, exhale and reach your hands up to your feet. Repeat this 15 times, and then do 2 more sets. If it bothers your neck, put one hand behind your head to support, and reach with the other hand up toward your legs.