The warm weather has arrived and so has the itch to get back to your favorite fitness activities (running, golf, tennis, outdoor TRX :), etc.). Before you get out there, be sure to prepare your body. There is no truth behind the “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” motto. The real truth is that we need to build up our flexibility, endurance, and strength before diving in.
Tips on getting back into the game:
1. Start Slow
Take what you built up to last season and cut it by 50%. Each week add 10% more intensity to the program/sport, and within a month you will be feeling back to your old fit self! For Example if you were running for 60 minutes last fall, start with a 30 minute run. Each week add 5-10 min more to your run.
2. Warm-up, Cool down, and Flexibility
These easily forgotten components of any fitness routine are some of the most valuable pieces you need.
Warm up (5-10 minutes), this helps our bodies rev up our cardiovascular systems and increases blood flow to our muscles. Overall this helps reduce muscle soreness and risk of injury. Examples would be taking 5-minute brisk walk, dynamic stretches, and rotator cuff exercises.
Cool down (5-10 minutes), this allows our bodies to gradually reduce our heart rate, and pressure, which overall helps regulate our blood flow. Examples, dynamic stretching, 5 minute walk.
Flexibility (Stretching), this should be done when our bodies are warm, it should not be used for our warm-up phase. Stretching also helps prevent muscle soreness and injury, but can really improve our range of motion, which can also help improve our overall athletic performance. Stretching should also be done either in a moving pattern or static, never in a bouncing motion.
Following these tips will help you get back into your favorite fitness routine in no time.