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Spring Training is Here
Winter is finally over and – while the Kansas City Royals just finished their spring training in Surprise, Arizona – spring training has just begun for you City Gym members who like to change things up occasionally and take your workout outside, where you can breathe some fresh air and soak up some Vitamin D. Whether you like to run, cycle, swim, golf, or play tennis, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head outdoors:
- Schedule a “Spring Tune-up”: Although many City Gym members are young and healthy, despite the old saying, “an apple a day” isn’t always enough to “keep the doctor away”. Believe it or not, only about 20% of Americans see their doctor for an annual physical. Even if you are only in your 30s, it’s important to see your doctor to get simple things done like screening for high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels as well as checking your body mass index (BMI) and updating vaccinations. Women age 40 or older should discuss getting screened for breast cancer. Men age 50 or older should discuss getting screened for prostate cancer. Don’t worry… It’s just a blood test (prostate exams are no longer routinely done on men with no symptoms), so men shouldn’t let the age-old fear of getting “you know what” done keep them from making that appointment! Men and women between ages 50-75 should also be screened for colorectal cancer. Women 65 or over should have a bone density test (DEXA scan). The list goes on & on. You get the picture… just stop procrastinating and schedule the appointment; your doctor will let you know what you need to get done, depending on your age and risk factors.
- Spring Cleaning: Clean out that kitchen pantry! Get rid of any junk food still sitting around the house (e.g. leftover Valentine’s Day chocolates or Easter basket candy) and get out that Paleo cookbook you received from a friend for Christmas but haven’t had time to use yet. Remember, proper nutrition is crucial to overall fitness and performance.
- Don’t Forget the Sunscreen! More exposure to the sunshine and Vitamin D can be a good thing, but the UV radiation is not. As you spend more time outdoors, make sure you are using waterproof lotion with at least SPF-15 or more.
- Stay hydrated. As temperatures start to rise, so will your fluid requirements when exercising outside. The rule of thumb is “drink before you feel thirsty”, and the more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace. In general, you should be drinking about two liters of water per day, in addition to 16 ounces 1-2 hours before and right after each workout.
- Runners: If you choose to start running outside, do not increase your mileage or your pace too quickly. As the weather is much nicer now, it’s tempting to crank out more miles than usual. Try not to increase mileage by more than 10% of your usual weekly mileage, and every four weeks, reduce your mileage by 50%, in order to let your body recover (then pick up where you left off.) Also, ease into running on roads/paved paths (which are much harder surfaces than the treadmill you may have been using over the winter). Consider alternating every run outside with a run on the treadmill, until your body is accustomed to the harder surface. It also may be a good time to invest in new running shoes, especially if you’ve been hitting the treadmill all winter. Most running shoes only last between 300-400 miles.
- Cyclists: Just as it is important to properly adjust the stationary bikes in our SPINPower® and City Video Cycle classes, your road bike needs to be properly adjusted as well. If you haven’t done it in a while, get a professional bike fitting done. Perhaps you have lost weight over the winter and/or have become fitter and more flexible. Your experience on your bike (as well as your performance and power output) can be improved significantly just by improving the fit. While you’re at it, give your bike a little “tune-up” as well, either yourself (if you’re a good mechanic) or at your local bike shop. This includes inspecting and/or replacing brake shoes, tires, shift cables, etc. as well as cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment of derailleurs, brakes, etc.
So, enjoy your spring training and have a healthy & successful season, like the one the Royals had last year!
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports