With Spring arriving this week, your workout should change with the season.
Spring is a season of renewal, a celebration of life, Easter Bunnies, and leafy blossoms ( Modelo Time!)… But what about working out? If you’re a weight room warrior, the changing of the seasons may only affect the car ride to and from the gym. That’s all fine and dandy, but I’d like to make a case here for why you should do a little spring cleaning with your workout.
We’ve just finished up months of winter, punctuated by a holiday season that is often characterized by overeating. Over in Connecticut, it’s been cold, snowy, and dark (none of these things lend themselves to outdoor activity, except maybe the winter sports). I’ve pounded away in the weight room and ran to the hum of a treadmill (oh the boredom). For me, winter is a time were I tend to eat a little more and lift a little heavier and run a little slower. All the bulk is supposed to keep me warm (and also, it helps with the shovelling).
But Spring should beckon a different kind of workout routine. Why? Well, first of all there’s quite a few studies to support periodically changing your workout routine. Stay in the same routine for too long and you’ll plateau; what once was hard, is now easy. The workout breezes by without much mental or physical exertion. No bueno...
So what better time than spring to freshen your workout and literally breath new life into the day. With more daylight, one easy activity to incorporate is running. Unlike summer, when it can get too hot, Spring is the perfect weather for some brisk outdoor activity. So grab your running shoes and maybe put little Johnny in a stroller.
What’s great about running is that you can find the intensity and resistance you’re looking for all around you. A park is great for a long and relaxing jog (also nice to not worry about cars, if you run on the road). A track offers the chance to be very precise and methodical, especially if you’re training for a race or want to workout at a certain heart rate. But there’s also the hill; and really, there’s nothing more intimidating than a steep hill. If you’re a resistance training fella (who loathes “jogging”), swap out a leg session for hill runs, or try to do both in one day. It’s a really fantastic way to exhaust your body from the glutes downward.
If running doesn’t work for you (knee or shin injuries are a common reason), I’d recommend swapping out two days of your usual training routine to do something completely different. There are a ton of options, but I’ll use myself as an example. I added a day where I only row on an Erg machine, which is a great total body exercise and is easy on the joints. I also added a day where I try to do lots of functional movements like farmers walks and Turkish get ups. It’ll look a bit weird, but not any weirder than an adult in flip-flops (I see that all the time).
Football was meant to be played in leather helmets and sweaters. Currently taking suggestions for which NHL team I should support.