It’s Time For Spring Training
How wonderful it is to finally see the grass and have temperatures above zero. Soon we’ll be in full swing for outdoor sports and activities.
Spring is the time to take stock of what needs to be done in the garden, get the golf clubs cleaned and tune up the bike. We can’t wait to switch gears and get ready for our favourite time of the year – summer. However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we make sure “spring training” gets us ready physically and mentally to go full tilt come June.
Whether you think of yourself as an athlete, someone who likes to walk now that the weather is better or is a person who needs to get active, the approach should be the same. Make a plan and set a goal. It allows you to look forward to something.
Hal: I’m what you would consider an avid golfer. Yes, golf might look like a silly game- hitting a little white ball into a hole. But golf can provide the challenge of walking approx 13,000 steps during a round. (It’s recommended that you take at least 10,000 a day and unfortunately most Canadians are around 4-5,000/day). Golf can also improve your strength by carrying your bag and it tests your mental focus and ability to let your stress melt away as you enjoy the beauty of a golf course. A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to kick start my golf season in Phoenix and even though the weather was fantastic, I could tell that the game was a little rusty. However, the winter fitness of hockey and treadmill walking definitely helped to make the walk and carrying easier.
This week starts my spring golf season in Southern Ontario and that means practicing and including some specific golf stretches to my fitness routine. Here is a must-do stretch for golfers to avoid injuries.
Turn your arm over and place it straight in front of you without bending at your elbow.Then use your other hand to slowly apply pressure to the hand out front. Hold when you feel a gentle stretch for a count of 20 to 30 seconds, switch arms and repeat. You can also turn your arm/hand over and do the same stretch. Not only great to do so you can keep golfing this season but it will help you if you spend alot of time at a computer or gardening.
Joanne: I also love to golf but this summer I’ve decided to actually switch gears and do more cycling to help my running. Since I firmly believe that you have to challenge yourself, I’m thinking of doing a few duathlons (run, bike, run events) this summer to keep me motivated. I’ve just started to spend a couple of days a week on the spin bike to make the transition to outdoor cycling easier. However, you can just get on your bike and go for it. Start with short distances at first and build from there.
This is the perfect time to get your bike tuned and ready to go as the weather can improve quickly and you don’t want to miss out on a perfect day to ride. Cycling is one of the best aerobic activities you can do and it doesn’t impact on your joints. Cycling also builds strength and tones your muscles as well as it eats up calories and boosts your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your ride. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ride through your neighbourhood, along a bike path, with a cycling club or taking part in a cycling event, hopping on your bike makes your remember just how much fun you had as a kid.
Here’s a goal –Ride for Heart on June 1st with your family and/or some friends. Start now and you’ll be ready.
Whatever you decide to do this summer, start your “spring training” now.
Until Next Time, Keep Fit & Have Fun
Hal & Joanne