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Get ready for fall fitness

Fall is just around the corner and now is the time to start planning for your fall fitness program.
Courtesy of Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

As the days shorten and the kids return to school, it is time to get ready for your fall fitness program. If you have not been adhering to your regular fitness program this summer or have not integrated fitness into your lifestyle, this is the time to do it.

What separates a fitness program in the fall from the rest of the year? Why are our goals somewhat different than other times during the year? While fitness should be part of your life throughout the year, particularly if you are active in outdoor fall and winter sports, there are specific methods of preparing for those sports and for the necessary indoor elements relevant to fitness in the fall and winter months. Once the fundamentals of the fall fitness program are described, the following two weeks, a comprehensive program will be provided, so stay tuned for this invaluable information. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Fall Fitness Program Basics

No. 1 — In the fall, which is often a shoulder season to the winter sports activities, we begin to prepare our bodies for the rigors of winter sports. Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice skating, to name a few, place different demands on the body than water skiing, swimming, cycling, hiking, kayaking and sailing. Consequently, we prepare differently in the fall for the winter sports that lie ahead.

No. 2 — If you are a summer activity lover, and while you may still be able to participate in some summer activities for a couple of months, depending upon where you live, the time is approaching when most of those activities will be less accessible. Consequently, preparing for the cooler and colder months that lie ahead, in advance, will set you up for fall and winter fitness success.

No. 3 — Due to the inclement weather months, we spend more time indoors and therefore, our workouts are often indoors. Pull out your calendar and block out the days/times that you will need to commit to your fall fitness program. Perhaps set Labor Day as the day of action for this fall fitness program, and stick to it.

No. 4 — Plan on three to five days/week, two to three of those, non-consecutive high intensity interval training days and two or three for longer duration training days blending in additional cardiovascular endurance training, and consistent muscular strength/endurance/flexibility training (i.e. the five components of physical fitness should be included in all comprehensive exercise programs—cardiovascular endurance/muscular strength/muscular endurance/flexibility and body composition {i.e. lean to fat ratio}). With few exceptions, you should be active daily. However, regimented workouts will tend to be adhered to more consistently if you integrate periodization to provide the mind and body with continued challenge while allowing for variation. These well-designed periodic modifications to your existing program may lead to significant fitness level improvement and performance.

No. 5 — You do have a life, so set a realistic time slot for your program daily and adhere to it. Unless you are an elite athlete who needs to train many hours/days during their training seasons, generally, your program should be designed to be completed in approximately 45-75 minutes. Put on those workout shoes and get the work done efficiently, then get on with your day.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com and her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.com


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