grey ugg boots 7 expert tips to kickstart your spring training
With the ushering in of spring and warmer weather last week, Irealised that I’ve been neglecting my fitness. My feet found their way into Ugg boots on more occasions than sneakers this winter and I’m guessing I’m not alone. For those of us who have been in health hibernation, we asked some of fitness experts for their bestadvice.
1. PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS
Instead of spending 30 minutes on social media or watching television, put that time aside for a quick workout and treat it like any other appointment, suggests Flow athletic founder and personal trainerBen Lucas.
Lucas recommends writing down your schedule. “Great training sessions won’t happen by accident,” he says. “On Sunday night before you start your week, plan and diarise when you are going to fit in your training for the week.”
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If you are new to training or are returning after time off, starting out with a group class or personal trainer and trying a few different classes can help ease you back in and rediscover what you enjoy.
“I suggest mixing it up, so do a cardio, then a strength, then a yoga workout as this will allow you to use different energy systems, but also different planes of movement as well,” says Lucas. “The first few sessions may be a little tough, so stick them out and give yourself a chance to get used to them.”Don’t expect six months worth of results in the first session. If you can only do one push up the first day, aim for two the next, and then three, and so on. Goals need to be realistic and personal, rather thanbased on what anyone else is doing.
“Far too often people go too hard too soon which often ends up with a negative effect, such as inconsistent training and eating habits,” says former elite gymnast turned personal trainer,Lauren Hannaford.”Ease into it and build yourself up gradually Positive training equals positive results.”
Stretch regularly to increase the flexibility of muscles and joints, suggestsTim Robards, former Bachelor and founder ofThe Robards Method.
While injury is the obvious result of poor preparation, a lack of warm up and stretching can also result in underperformance, according to Robards.
“Dynamic stretching and mimicking the movements you are about to perform will not only warm up the muscles, but also the motor patterns that you are about to use in your sport or training,
” he says. “If you’ve been sitting down all day your glutes may be inhibited and switched off, so if you’re going for a big squat you’ll want to make sure your glutes are part of the equation.”
“My go to stretches are the gecko stretch, figure four supine hip stretch (for lower back), the handcuff stretch for the rotator cuff, thread the needle for thoracic, a good old pec stretch, downward dog for hammys and thoracic opening. Pigeon pose is great for the glutes and hammys against a door hinge.”
4. INCORPORATE SPRINTS
Sprinting is one of the quickest ways to build strength and agility, according toKevin Toonen, a strength and conditioning coach for the special forces.
“Speed is king” and it will “develop your engine a lot faster”, says Toonen, who recommends playing with sprint intervals to get the best results.
“There are a few ways to do intervals, the key is to recover enough so you can give equal to, or close to the same effort each time,” he says. “Try 15 seconds sprinting, 15 seconds rest, and repeat 12 to 15 times. Then rest for four minutes and go again. If you’re feeling stronger and getting faster after a few weeks try doing the same workout but make the intervals 30 seconds instead.”
Your legs will thank you for it too.
“One of the best things about interval running is it forces you to use your hamstrings, glutes and calves,” says Toonen. “Learning how to use and engage these muscles will ensure you run with better form before you start pushing the sessions out in time and distance.”
Remember to warm up and cool down for each session, as this will help with injury prevention.
5. EAT WELL
“Count nutrients not calories,” says nutritionist and personal trainer,Moodi Dennaoui.”We are caught up with numbers and nutritional labels and have forgotten to take a closer look at what we are eating.”
And while there is no blue print to eating correctly,he suggests avoiding fad diets and not eliminating whole food groups, including carbs.
Instead, Moodi suggests shock horror combining good food choiceswith regular exercise.”Always earn at least one meal a day,” he says. “Daily movement means better nutrient uptake from food, better digestion,
and a far less likelihood of storing fat from the food you eat.”