This is the Winter of our discontent
Friday, November 04, 2011
Listen up people, this is the Sergeant Major!
To paraphrase “September Song” the daylight hours dwindle down to a precious few as we lurch grudgingly into winter, We can “Fall back” with our clocks so have to now ensure we do not fall back on our fitness. It is time to reassess our fitness routines since for many of us winter is only indoor workout time. That does not have to be the norm since there are ways to adapt our programmes to the winter without becoming heater hermits. Taking up some form of active winter recreation is one option which is best if it mimics in some way our non winter active recreation.
Cross country skiing or snowshoeing will mimic running for those of us adjacent to the Arctic Circle. Better yet we modify what we do to adjust to the weather change, for example proper running attire will allow us to continue to run out of doors and not join the Rodent Runners on treadmills and ellipticals.
Those who cycle for fun and fitness can invest in a stationary cycling stand and purchase some of Coach Carmichael’s ass kicker indoor training programmes on DVD. Much cheaper than a spin cycling class and you do not have to leave home.
Learn to jump rope correctly and then learn how to make it show time.
Developing a sport specific strength training programme will also help us adapt to the winter months and let us be fit and ready when the spring comes again. If strength training is already an integral part of your training find something different to do which will challenge your muscles. Go from weight training to bodyweight training, do assisted bodyweight training such as suspension training. Learn to use Kettlebells of dumbbells instead of bars and plates. Do circuit training instead of standard protocol sets and repetitions. Get crazy and so some form of Tabata Protocol strength training for 4 minutes of pain and agony. Try Indian clubs for a change, they have only been used for physical training for a couple of thousand years.
Okay all of you groaning and waving your hands in the air trying to get my attention you have permission to join a gym and take classes but I suggest you check your local community centre and see what they have to offer at a better price break. Just make sure that what you select challenges you and makes you do the necessary work to prepare you to resume your fair weather training programme. One last caveat, remember that if the weather gets nasty and you are reluctant to take on the challenge of getting to the gym you need an at home back up plan.
This can be and should be the time of year when we get creative and innovative in the way we structure our training. We are soon to be confronted with the holiday season and all its food wonders and excesses so we need to adjust and adapt. We can not run away from a bad diet but we can be moderate in what we consume. Choose a smaller plate, take a smaller portion, and do not cheat yourself of all the flavour delights and indulgences simply pay attention to the amount you are consuming.
Let any SAD you suffer be seasonal affective disorder (which is curable by with good lighting and getting out of the house) and not sad because you are not working out and your clothes are getting tight.
Make it happen!