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5 Things to do before starting a spring exercise program

By Julie | In Exercise, Nutrition and Weight Loss, Outdoor | on February 22, 2014

Hurray for spring! The weather is finally promising an end to winter. If you are like many human beings that lie dormant in hibernation for the winter, then you will want to consider a few things before busting the doors down and taking on a rigorous exercise program. Consider these 5 the top of your priority list this week as you shake off the dust and get your body moving this spring:

 6 fitness tips

1) Buy a new pair of shoes. Exercise shoes should be replaced at least once every year if you are a casual exerciser. If you really pound the ground and do a lot of advanced exercise on a regular basis, you will want to replace your shoes every 6 months at the most. They may look great on the outside, but inside your shoes get broken down and fail to provide the support your body needs. Old, worn out shoes can cause knee pain, foot cramps, and lower leg pain (shin splints).

2) Hydrate. All the cold winter weather may have caused your water drinking habits to be less than optimal. Your body needs extra water to help transport energy and nutrients to your muscles as you exercise. If you have a weight loss goal, water is necessary to transport fat into the muscles to be burned as energy. Your workouts will be more productive and you will have more energy if your water consumption is a minimum of 65 oz per day. Keep a water bottle with you to drink every 15 minutes during exercise.

3) Go to the grocery…and stock up on protein. It’s time to lean out the carbohydrates in your pantry and stock up on quality protein sources. Your muscles will need the extra protein for recovery and adaptation. The last thing you want to lose is all the muscles you plan to work hard to earn! Choose a high quality whey protein for a post-workout shake, and pick a variety of lean meats,  nuts, and eggs for your meals and snacks.

4) Have a plan. If you have been inactive for the majority of the winter, you will need a systematic plan to progress you back into shape. No plan = no progress. For those of you who have been active, but are setting a spring goal, you also need a road map of how you are going to accomplish your goal. A plan helps you avoid injury by progressing too quickly and keeps you from wasting precious time. If you need help designing a plan that is right for you, contact a personal trainer.

5) Warm-up. Muscles get tight from sitting and inactivity. Improving your mobility and range of motion is very important before beginning a regular exercise program. Try these 2 moves as a total body warm-up for every day or before any workout.

Step out wide by your hand and pause with foot on the ground.

Spiderman increases blood flow to your upper body and opens the hips. Step out wide by your hand and pause with foot on the ground.

 

Place foot back in push-up position and switch quickly to the other side.

Place foot back in push-up position and switch quickly to the other side.

 

Start

Steam engine warms the core and hamstrings. Start here and alternate each side. Always come back to this position before switching sides.

Alternate sides

Alternate sides

Steam Engine
You can also do the steam engine with legs and arms straight. Kicking and twisting to the outside of the leg.

 

Get to it! Now you are ready to “Xcel” at your new spring exercise routine!

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