Winter is Coming
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INDOOR WORKOUT.’
For outdoor exercisers, the concern isn’t White Walkers. Instead, hikers, bikers, runners and the like need to watch out for freezing temps and slick surfaces. If you’re one of the many folks who has spent the last several months staying fit outside, you may be struggling to keep up your routine. This could be the perfect time to move your fitness indoors. But what does that look like? When creating an indoor training plan, try to focus on a smarter, stronger and healthier approach. A smarter training plan is evidence-based and specific to your needs.
If you’re a runner that may mean incorporating single leg exercises since you’ve only ever been on one leg at a time when you run. Cyclists might want to train those explosive muscle fibers to help them with hill climbs and sprints. Hikers would do well to incorporate step-ups and lunges to prepare for steep terrain on unstable ground. As long as your plan is purposeful and relevant to your goals, then you’re setting yourself up for success. Now, whether the goal of your winter routine is to simply maintain your fitness or to feel even stronger pounding the pavement in the spring, resistance training is the answer. Strength training can look very different depending on your situation. For some, this might mean spending hours in the squat rack.
For others, a lot can be accomplished with body weight alone. As long as your muscles are being challenged enough to break down and rebuild stronger, then you’re making progress. A lot of training plans can make you
stronger, but smart routines will also make you healthier. A fitness program
focused on health can help improve the immune system, something specially helpful during winter months. Healthier fitness routines also strengthen the heart and lungs, along with the muscles and joints. Healthy exercise plans incorporate a dynamic warm up, where both muscles and the cardiovascular system
are prepped for tougher movements to come. Power, strength and cardio
conditioning make up the majority of a safe and healthy routine. The cool down is a great time to slowly bring heart rate down and work on mobility. Three to five days of a routine such as the one described here can go a long way toward improving both health and fitness.
DYNAMIC WARM UP
A proper warm up only needs to take about 3-5 minutes. The goal is to gradually increase breathing, heart rate, body temp and range of motion. Calisthenic exercises such as jumping jacks, body weight squats, high knees and heel kicks are a great place to start. An ideal warm up will have you breaking a sweat without tiring you for the more challenging exercises to come.
POWER AND EXPLOSIVENESS
Often lumped in with strength training, power development is a specific form of resistance training. It’s focused on quick explosive movements, typically with lighter weights or no weight at all. This can include plyometrics such as rebounding squat jumps, or weighted exercises such as kettlebell swings. A good place to begin your power training is to choose two to four exercises, and complete three sets of five reps per exercise.