This winter, have you fallen off your workout routine? I know I have! I have always preferred to exercise outdoors so during winter as much as I hate to admit it, I do not challenge myself as much and find myself “going through the motions.”
I don’t know about you, but I am very much looking forward to warmer weather as winter comes to an end and spring approaches!
Last month, Shaina shared some very helpful Winter Workout Tips https://www.breakawaypt.com/winter-workout-tips/ to help you be safe and motivated to stay in shape during the cold months.
For those who did not heed this advice or who find themselves slipping during winter (like myself!), we need to talk about getting back out there, SAFELY!
Have you heard of the term “weekend warrior”? This is a person who engages in physical or strenuous activity only part time or in their spare time. They also tend to overdo their activity level because they think their body is ready for the 5K that they did last year (even though they have not run in months)!
I applaud anyone who includes exercise in their life, however when we do not make it routine or jump into physical activity after long periods of inactivity, it sets yourself up for injury.
Now, I don’t know if “warm weather warrior” is a thing, but if you slack off all winter and then expect to jump right back into activity as soon as we get that nice 60-degree sunny day, you may be in for an unpleasant surprises if you do not PREPARE YOUR BODY.
What can you do to prepare your body?
Warm Up! Spend about 5 minutes prior to any exercise routine to get the blood flowing!
You want to allow your heart rate to slowly increase, warm-up your muscles and lubricate your joints so that your body can move comfortably through the motions you are trying to perform
Your muscles are the coldest when we first wake up and have not started moving yet
It is also best to incorporate a DYNAMIC warm up
This means your warmup should include movements that work the same muscles and over multiple joints that you will be using during your workout. Think about it as “stretching while you move”. For example, prior to a run you can do:
Remember with your warm-up that it does not have to be more than 5 minutes long and I completely understand that time is precious, BUT this is incredibly important for your body so that you do not injure yourself
Don’t Go Straight For The Gold! Set realistic expectations.
If you have not worked out all winter, do not expect to pick up where you left off last summer
Starting with a Couch to 5K program for running (we will talk about this more specifically later!)
Know Your Terrain! Ask anyone, running on a treadmill and running outdoors feels completely different!
While the overall body mechanics used for treadmill and outdoor running are similar enough, there are some differences you should be aware of if you have been running on a treadmill all winter and plan on switching to outdoors.
For example, science has shown that:
Cool-Down! Similar to the warm - up, after exercising you should spend at least 5 minutes cooling down to slowly decrease your heart rate and allow your blood pressure to recover.
As you get into your workout routine, also do not forget about ACTIVE RECOVERY!
What is an active recovery?
What is an active recovery?
If you are involved in moderate or vigorous aerobic exercise, you should take one rest day every three to five days. This does not mean you have to sit on the couch and do nothing for a day, but your exercise should be kept at a low intensity.
This can include:
Another key point to keep in mind as you get into your exercise program is that you should have an active recovery week.
When you are excising regularly, it is important that you do not increase your intensity or increase your total mileage by more than 10% over the course of a week
Earlier I mentioned that a Couch to 5K program is a great way to start getting into running.
There are many programs out there, but all are similar in that they use an alternating walking and running format that gradually progress the frequency and duration of running to train the body to run a 5k (3.1 miles).
This is a great way to break the winter blues and get you outside and active this spring!
If you are looking for a more detailed plan beyond week 1 of couch to 5K and a more specific approach to running, give us a call or send us an email at email@example.com
We love to help put exercise programs together whether it is for running, walking, hiking, swimming, soccer and MORE!
If you need any help getting out there, (or if when you get out there your body is telling you that you NEED help), give us a call at 410-782-3672 to set up a FREE Breakthrough visit so that we can keep you going this spring!
Don’t miss the opportunity to help your body get back into shape so that you can love all the spring flowers and activities that will pop up around you!