Spring is finally here! Its the perfect excuse to move out of the stuffy gym and take in some fresh air! But transitioning your workout from indoors to outdoors can be trickier than you may think.
To help you to make this transition with ease, consider the following tips.
#1 – From Treadmill to Trail
You set your speed on a treadmill and the belt keeps you maintaining it. It’s much tougher when you have to initiate the pace all by yourself and have to deal with varied terrain instead of a nice, flat surface. Gotta love those springtime potholes!
How to do it:
Expect to start a bit slower and gradually increase your speed back up to your treadmill pace. Consider shaving off 10-20% from your typical speed and/or time for the first few weeks and work your way up. OR…
Consider intervals. Based on your current fitness level, take the time to gradually build up your strength and stamina by progressing with intervals of walking and running. For example: 4 min. walking + 1 min run/jog; 3 min walk + 2 min run/jog; 2 min walk + 2 min run/jog; 1 min run + 3 min run/jog
#2 – Weight Room to Body Weight
If youve been using weight machines you may definitely feel delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) once you start any outdoor activity. This doesnt just apply to sports; you can also end up with muscle pain from gardening, yard work, or any seemingly light recreational activity.
WHY you ask?? When using machines, the range of motion is often supported and limited, while with sports and everyday activities, movement is dynamic and multi-planar (moving in many directions). Once you take your activity outdoors, your muscles move in more complex ways and usually without rest.
How to do it:
Leave the machines behind and take on a suspension trainer. This fun piece of equipment offers the ability to do dynamic and multi-planar movements, allowing your body to prep and strengthen for ANY activity. PLUS with a versatility anchor your suspension gym can be attached to any tree, or pole allowing you to take it outdoors with you!
TIP: Your fav sports or outdoor activities can sometimes favor one side of your body, which can create muscle imbalance and increase risk of injury. To stay in balance, think of what youre working on in sports and activities and exercise in ways that helps compensate for whatever may be missing. For example, if you play golf, you may want to train similar movement swinging the other way for balance, add some cardio and some lower body strength exercises. If you garden, you may want to add some cardio and lots of upper body stretching that opens the chest and shoulders. If you squat down while gardening try some hamstring and quad stretches.
A resistance band is a great way to add muscle work to a walk, hike or run as its light, and portable.
#3 – Indoor to Outdoor Cycling
Indoor group cycle classes (aka spin class) offer a great cardio and conditioning workout. There are some mega differences between a stationary bike and a regular bike however, which may cause you to fatigue faster and feel some muscle and joint pain.
Posture. You dont need to be aerodynamic indoors so we tend to set the handlebars higher; allowing you to see the instructor and reducing stress on the shoulders, wrists and lower back.? Once youre outside, youll have the wind, and the vibration and inconsistency of the road to deal with so youll tend to set the handlebars lower and not sit straight up. Set your handlebars higher at the start of the season. Do reverse posture stretching.
Variations in Speed: Youll tend to go faster on an indoor bike because you can vary your speed at your own desire. The wheel of a spin-bike is also weighted which adds momentum and that feeling of spinning. Once you get outside, youll be riding against the wind and terrain so dont be surprised if you slow down quite a bit ? at least until you get used to it.
#4 – Stair climbers to stadium stairs
Stair climbers can provide a challenging workout but can still be far easier than climbing actual stairs at a local stadium? or any large staircase for that matter! First, on indoor machines, you set the resistance or the depth of the stair. And, whether you intend to or not, most people have their hands on the rails and end up supporting some of their body weight. FYI, the more you support the FEWER calories you burn!
Ease into it:
– add a few flights of stairs at the end of a walk or run
- shoot for sets. find a specific flight of stairs and start with a few sets or flights; gradually increase the number you do adding to it every 2-3 weeks
With these tips youll be able to enjoy the outdoors AND continue to get in shape just in time for swim suit season 😉