Many individuals are getting ready to kick off those coats, hats and boots and jump into spring as many regions of the United States have been cold for many months and even though they have been exercising in the cold, they are ready to get out in the warmth and exercise. Many people love to hike, walk, run, rollerblade or bike along with canoeing and camping, and there is so much one can do to get ready for the season of outdoor sports. As many in the Northern Hemisphere deal with very low temperatures of up to 40 below zero or more and shorter hours of day light, this does make it much more difficult to prepare for the warmer months ahead as those bodies are not acclimated to it.
It is important for one to make sure to look at the sport that they are going to take part in during the summer months as well as where and when they are going to take part in their excursion and plan out weeks, if not months, ahead of time for training. Yes, many people think they can just get up and pick up a backpack and hike five or ten miles, and later they will find that this is not the case. Many also will think that taking a canoe trip will be simple and easy, but after paddling for a number of hours, they will also see it is not that easy. These are just a few simple examples of how misconceptions can take place on getting involved in outdoor sports and training, specifically beforehand, which can help you and save you from any injury, illness or anything traumatic.
The key concept is to train specifically and train for your outdoor sport whether it be hiking, backpacking, canoeing or just biking or rollerblading. Look at your health history and always consult with your doctor first before you start with these sports to make sure you are in good health before even training for them. If you have a good clearance of health, then start thinking specifically of how you can acclimate yourself to what you want to do. Think of the motions you will be doing during your activity and the intensity and especially the duration of time. This resembles mode, frequency and time of a sport or activity. One will want to put themselves on any exercise program that is light to moderate with consistent aerobic activity like walking, jogging, or biking for at least 30 to 90 minutes with a moderate heart rate of 50%-80% target heart rate per session and light to moderate resistance training, focusing on all muscle groups, 8-10 reps of 2-3 sets. However, even more sets should be completed along with a balance and functional training program for the core, which is very important, but the very basics will help one get started and help get one off on the right foot.
Lastly, the important thing is to look at one’s outdoor sport especially those such as hiking or biking. Take your sport to the limit and practice it, and if it is multiple sports that are included then make sure to make time to practice each equally or practice the ones you downplay more than the others.
If you are hiking, then hike every trail you can with backpacks along with doing your gym workouts, and during your gym workouts complete the stair climber or treadmill with the backpack on (stay off the stair climber for knee problems). Biking should start by biking easy routes in your location or start with stationary biking with slowly adding on resistance for a longer duration of time that add to endurance. If you are a canoer, then complete exercises using the rowing machine. Also, complete simulation exercises of actions you might be doing during your outdoor adventures such as using the medicine ball and doing hand tosses, side twist from side to side and of course, practicing squats with lifting a load and doing seated cable rows.
Remember to be specific to your sport whether it be indoors or outdoors, but always prepare for the elements that you might face.