Fall fitness sets tempo for wintertime workouts
The Fitness Trail
We still have a bit of summer to enjoy, but it is time to begin considering starting your fall fitness program or continue progressing within a program. Fall is a fantastic time to set a template for year-round fitness because we can still get outside for workouts, but we need to prepare for indoor workouts as the weather becomes less accommodating.
Fall workouts help get our bodies ready for the winter activities and sports, as well as remaining fit throughout the year, despite what challenges the weather presents. The fall fitness activities featured this week are ideal for just about everyone. Choose non-consecutive days for all activities, and as always, consult a physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Fall months are wonderful for outdoor cycling. Try one or two long rides a week for two-four hours, if you are an experienced cyclist. If new to cycling, try two or three shorter rides per week of 30-75 minutes to begin conditioning your body.
The perfect compliment to your outdoor rides, indoor group cycling can give you the high intensity interval training (HIIT) within the studio that will enhance your cycling skills and experience during your outdoor rides. Two to three 45-60 minute indoor rides with the emphasis on HIIT for conditioned cyclists and two to three 30-45 minute indoor rides with one of those an HIIT ride for novices.
If you are an experienced hiker, challenge yourself with more intense hikes, frequently experiencing breathlessness when you hit those steep climbs and using the downhill or flat sequences to actively recover. If you are just beginning, choose flat trails that are an hour to an hour-and-a-half. One to two hikes per week would be adequate. Also, hikes are great cross training with cycling, as hiking is weight bearing and cycling, for the most part, is non-weight bearing.
Swimming and well-designed aqua programs offer tremendous physical fitness benefits. Two to three 30-75 minute bouts weekly, depending upon your fitness level, will do the trick. If you choose to swim or participate in an aqua program, make certain to include body weight and load-bearing activities on your non-aqua days.
Performing a combination weight and cardio circuit training program two to three days per week will enhance any of the above activities. The key is to intersperse weight training stations, both body weight and external resistance like dumbbells, resistive tubing, plate loaded equipment and selectorized and functional station equipment with stations dedicated to improving your cardiovascular endurance and high intensity interval training (i.e. explosive power), such as running on a step platform, slam ball, battling ropes, BOSU or trampoline, using clubs or air ropes/jump ropes, etc.
Set up the circuit with 10-14, 75-second stations and repeat it twice. Each cardio station is performed continuously for 75 seconds while the weight training stations are performed for 30 seconds with a 15-second break and another 30-second work interval.
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