The arrival of spring always seems to bring new energy. The pleasant change in weather is revitalising our spirits, bringing about an eagerness to get outside. Embrace it!
Here's how to kickstart your training this spring:
Tip 1: Step outside!
Some fortunate souls stay close to parks or other outdoor spots for training in the natural environment. If you aren't one of those, simply use your modern technology to search for places to spring clean your exercise routines into the outdoors, whether for hiking, cycling or trail running. Pick at least one day a week and invite a friend to join you for an adventurous exercise experience. You may even discover a new passion for an alternative outdoor sport, like rock climbing or surfing. If you are a city slicker with limited outdoor options available, look to join a weekly running group or informal race.
Tip 2: Incorporate cross-training into your weekly workouts
Not to be confused with Crossfit training (with its own benefits), cross-training is the incorporation of a variety of exercises into your weekly routine. The idea behind cross-training is to train a variety of different types of muscles (skeletal or cardiorespiratory) and ultimately become functionally fit. Runners, for example, can incorporate cycling or swimming into their routines, thereby challenging their cardiorespiratory systems differently. Resistance training is always a good idea, with benefits to people of all ages, such as increasing bone density or decreasing chances of developing osteoporosis. It also helps in strengthening the muscles surrounding your joints to help protect them against injuries. Most athletes tend to forget to incorporate pre-habilitation exercises into their routines as well. Choose exercises which support your chosen sport, such as runners doing prehab exercises that focus on the glutes, hamstrings, quads and core.
Learn more about the benefits of cross-training, here
Tip 3: Set short-term goals:
It’s human nature to feel no rush in obtaining a long-term goal, whereas short-term goals can become immediate and easier to pursue. Short-term goals can vary from weekly goals to monthly goals, such as completing a certain number of workouts within your current week or running a distance, such as 5 kilometres, within a certain time by the end of the month. Setting realistic and attainable goals is important. People are motivated by challenging tasks, which are not easy or too difficult. It is also easier to adjust these reachable, short-term goals according to the situational factors which may sneak in without warning, like that sudden spasm in the calve which may keep you from running for a couple of days.
Learn more about goal-setting, here.