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Changing Your Workout Focus for Fall and Winter

Changing Your Workout Focus for Fall and Winter

In the summer, I’m always outside doing the steps, doing walk/runs, and biking with Michael but as the weather gets a little colder and the nights a little darker, I find I spend a lot less time outdoors.  Right all your Wisconsinites!? So since my outdoor activity level drops, I look for opportunities to stay active and healthy indoors and my fitness program tends to evolve and transition towards different activities.  And I’m not alone.  Most traditional gyms experience an influx of clients coming back to seek refuge from the colder, snowier weather.

So if you are storing your road bike for the winter, now would be a great opportunity to start taking a look at what you can do indoors. Bikers, try an indoor cycling class or purchase a Wind Trainer that you can hook your bike to and still cycle indoors.  If you like water sports, you might sign up for an Indoor Rowing program or enroll in an Adult Swim program.  If you like to dance, you may like a Zumba class.  Or, you might register for a Yoga, Core Conditioning or Pilates program. Never tried a Boot Camp class, I have a great one to suggest…wink, wink. Use this season as an opportunity to try something new or to focus on an area that you’d like to improve upon.

I personally use the fall and winter months to experiment will all the Living Social and Groupon promos for unusual and different physical activities. Never tried Rockclimbing? Here’s your chance. I will also ramp up my weight training and indoor boot camp classes.  Love running and being outdoors, then plan to still get outdoors and run or walk all year long.  As long as you have the right gear, and don’t mind running in the wet and cold weather, you will reap the fresh air benefits.  Plus it ensures you still soak up some vitamin D. Hey, I believe that helps a lot with preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder that many people experience in the Midwest.

Here’s a few of my favorite indoor resistance training exercises:

Upper Body – Standing Row: 

Standing rows are a compound upper body exercise and a great way to strengthen your back. Stand in front of a pulley system (or use a resistance band), grab the handles and stand, knees slightly bent, abdominals contracted, shoulders back and down, chest lifted up and out and keeping your upper torso at a 90 degree angle (your back is completely vertical).  Pull the handle to your mid section.  Keep the handles low, your elbows at your side and avoid pulling your shoulders upwards.  Return slowly to the starting position avoiding your shoulders rounding forward.  Complete 8-15 reps.

Lower Body – Static Lunges:

Lunges are a fabulous compound lower body movement.  Start by comfortably holding hand weights at your side. Stand with one leg positioned in front of the other leg in a staggered stance.  Keep the front knee over top of the ankle.  Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips.  Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle the entire time. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable – the lowest point should be when your knee is at a 90-degree angle or your upper thigh is parallel to the ground.  Keep your body weight positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg.  Maintain proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted.  Remember, you can begin with just mini-lunges.  Complete 8-15 reps each leg.

Core – Oblique crunches: 

Lie on your back with your feet positioned on the floor.  Place your hands behind your head to lightly support the weight of your head.  Tuck your chin slightly into your chest away and focus your vision at about 45 degrees into the ceiling.  Avoid looking straight up to the ceiling or towards the opposite wall.  Now slowly lift your torso up on an angle.  An oblique crunch does not need to involve a large twisting action.  Focus on the upward lift on an angle – opposite hip to rib.  As you lift your upper body, lift your opposite leg a few inches off the floor at the same time.  Contract your abdominals on each repetition.  Alternate sides and continue for 60-90 seconds.

Pressed for time? Try this 20-min total body workout/cardio:

Set #1: Jump rope 1 min, do 20 reps of Standing Row, 20 static lunge (10 ea leg) and 20 oblique crunches…Rest 30 sec

Set #2: Jump rope 2 min, do 15 reps of Standing Row, 15 static lunge (7 ea leg) and 40 oblique crunches…Rest 30 sec

Set #3: Jump rope 3 min, do 10 reps of Standing Row, 10 static lunge (5 ea leg) and 60 oblique crunches…Rest 30 sec

Set #4: Jump rope 4 min, do 5 reps (on ea arm) of Standing Row, 8 static lunge (4 ea leg) and 80 oblique crunches…Rest 30 sec

Finish with 5 min jump rope intervals (fast/slow), stretch…DONE in 20 mins.

Like variety, come try boot camp!

Yours in health & fitness,

Coach Catherine

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