Monday, February 24, 2014

Walking Into Spring

Getting back into shape this Spring? Some hot fitness ideas!
Where I live, there's still a bit of ice and snow on the ground with more to come. So I've had to get a bit creative in my outdoor workouts. As an example, when it snows (and it has a LOT!), I go snowshoeing at a jogging pace or cross country skiing. Right now I want to put my snow gear away and break out my running shoes. However, due to the ground conditions, I've found it better to walk and run at intervals. Likewise, since I haven't done either (not on pavement anyway) for a few months, here are some tips on easing into a comprehensive spring workout without sidelining yourself with soreness or injuries.

1.) Walk Don't Run - If you are like most people, being a bit less active over the winter months means putting on a few extra fat pounds. This can cause knee and quad pain if you start off with too much intensity. Do a brisk pace to the point that your heart-rate is increased and you are nearly breathless while speaking. Make sure your walking/running shoes are in good shape to help cushion your joints. I'll be checking out the New Vionic Orthoheel Zen & Rhythm Walkers. They claim to offer great support with heel orthodics and stabilizing. Can't wait!

Zen Walkers by Vionic Shoes
2.) Invest in a Foam Roller All good plans of mice and athletes can go awry when soreness and injuries strike. The first few days of my morning walk-hike left my quads a bit tight. I just received the Enso Muscle Roller after seeing similar ones being used by some of the top professional cycling teams. After walking, I was able to roll and stretch my quads and hamstrings very easily and quickly with the Enso. To start out, I'd recommend taking a warm shower when you come back from your walk or run. Stretch your quads, calves and glutes with the Enso Muscle Roller and apply a good amount of Topricin Homeopathic Pain Creme. You will be pain free and totally ready to roll the next day!

Enso Muscle Roller
Enso Muscle Roller
Although I've just started using the Enso Muscle Roller, I am receiving a lot of relief after using it. I simply sit on the floor at a 45 degree angle, supporting my weight on my hands. I roll over the Enso a few times and viola! Very easy to use and very quick results.  Here's the Enso Muscle Roller specs:

  • Elongates muscles, relaxes tight muscles and aids in breaking up scar tissue, increases circulation and flexibility
  • Customizable design supports and works targeted areas without pressure to surrounding muscles and bones
  • 8-disc design can create a one-of-a-kind fit for your body shape and training needs
  • 13in proves to be the most versatile length for most body types
  • Rollers are constructed with a lightweight EVA foam and are supported by durable molded plastic discs and an anodized aluminum core
  • Grooved notches on tube position rollers to not slip out but adjust without friction for a micro-tuned disc arrangement
  • Weighs 2.13lbs

3.) Try A New Walk Related Activity - One of the things that keeps my morning walks and runs from getting stale is doing something different on the weekends. Try a new route or a destination walk in the park. You can also try geocaching. Find a local group online and use your phone's GPS to locate the geocache "treasure". I've done this and it is a lot of fun while getting a good amount of walking / running / hiking exercise.

Take a Historic Walk - Contact your local park system and see if they offer horticultural or historic walks in your area. I love these because you get to hike with a group and stop at intervals to see various sights.

Sign Up for Vionic Shoe's Walkabout for the Month of March
This coming March 2014, sign the pledge to walk every day of the month. I've already started, having begun on February 21st. Come on and sign up. You can do this!

What is Walkabout?

A Walkabout is an Australian journey for well-being, during which one seeks to clarify his/her life purpose. Our version of Walkabout is inspired by the Aussies and aims to improve physical and mental wellbeing, while creating healthy habits over the course of 28 days.

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