Now that temperatures are beginning to get warmer again, you might be aching to get back outside and get moving. With all of the less than healthy activities that may have taken place while indoors, getting in a solid workout may not have been a top priority. Another potential scenario is that you may have suffered an injury or an illness that occurred due to the cold weather. Whatever the reason for your break from fitness, the spring is THE PERFECT TIME to get back in shape so that you are looking good and feeling good for the summer.
Whether you get out the door and crank out a few miles, hit the links for a quick round of golf, or take your talents to the court for a basketball session, it is important to prepare your body for activity, especially if cold temperatures forced you to remain indoors and posted in front of a screen watching Netflix. If you do not ease your way into workouts, you run the risk of overdoing it and potentially injuring yourself. Even regular activities that might not have bothered you in the past can take a toll on your body. From heading out in the backyard to the garden to go on a long walk, you can you run the risk of injury or severe muscle soreness, which can lead to aches and pains for a long time.
The “no pain, no gain” approach just doesn’t cut it when it comes to getting in shape. Instead, give these 5 tips that our elite team at Relentless Fitness came up with to help you increase your fitness in the spring.
Underestimate your abilities
Most people regress during the winter months, even if they are stuck in a typical fitness routine, but if you do not underestimate your fitness abilities and ease back into workouts, you are actually setting yourself up for extreme muscle soreness and injury, that can prolong your sitting on the sidelines. You may not feel the pain the day after a killer workout, but two days later the soreness may be so intense that you cannot move your legs or raise your arms above your head. Start out easy and know that with consistent workouts you can get as in shape as you were in the past and eventually surpass your expectations.
If you have been staying away from the gym for a long period of time, check in with your doctor before increasing your activity. Once you get the go-ahead, start with an easy training schedule or stretching regimen. The slower and easier movements will help your body prepare for more intense activities like tennis, soccer, or even just crushing a hard run. Start with 10 minutes of running once every 2 days for a week, then run for 10 minutes every day, and then the following week alternate 15 minute runs with 10-minute runs. This way you will increase your mileage, and how much training your body can handle. Never forget to stretch after your workout! It will break up lactic acid and will allow your tight muscles to get stretched so that you feel better the following day.
Even though sunny days may be calling your name, make sure that you start slow. A fantastic rule of thumb that you can follow: Never increase your weight, time, speed, or intensity more than 10 percent per week. So, 10 percent of 10-pounds is one point. Similarly, if you are running 5 miles per hour, boost it up to 5.5 miles per hour. Keep in mind that running on solid ground is actually more difficult than running on a treadmill. The best way is to vary the intensity of your workout. Have short periods of high intensity paired with periods of low intensity so that your body can eventually get used to longer periods of high intensity paired with less rest.
Stretch it out
No matter what activity or sport you are participating in, adding stretching into your routine can have loads of benefits and will help you get an edge on your competition. If you are competing in a golf tournament then you should focus on stretching out your back. If you participating in a soccer game then stretch out your leg muscles can help. Staying loose is extremely beneficial!
The longer you are taking a break from fitness, then the longer it will take for you to get back in shape. If you took 4 weeks off then it may take you approximately 8 weeks to get back in shape. Keep this in mind; if you can’t lose all of your fitness overnight, then you can’t get back into shape overnight.
Exercise stresses the body. While it is mostly good stress, if you do too much then that can quickly become negative stress. This stress will lead to extended periods of muscle soreness or even stress fractures. Be sure that you pace yourself and don’t overdo it, this way in a few months you will feel better than ever.