The lure of summer is upon us. Vacations, softball tournaments and family walks in the evening sun are all things people look forward to. As days get longer and temperatures grow warmer, we often pack our indoor activities away like our winter coats. Here are a few reasons why staying fit by using indoor training options still has its place during this time of outdoor recreational fun.
You may have heard of muscle atrophy, or muscle loss, that happens as we age. For most people after reaching 25 years of age, muscle atrophy increases until middle age where it begins to progress more rapidly. Resistance training combined with healthy eating habits will drastically reduce this process and help protect our bodies from injury. Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, your own body weight, water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.
If you have already been doing some resistance training in a fitness club, then continuing those already established habits should be easy and consistent with your current lifestyle. Need a reduction in frequency, duration or time in the gym? It’s okay, this will allow for you to keep any gains you have made during the winter months and fit in your favorite activities. Considering most of the outdoor activities or sports are cardio based, the need to continue or begin a resistance training program remains as a preventative health measure to ensure muscle atrophy has minimal effect on the quality of life.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or it’s your first summer playing golf, developing and training existing muscle to perform and function will enable you to play at the top of your game. Summer generally means you will become more active, so resistance and cardiovascular training indoors will help you prepare, enjoy and excel at everything you will be doing outdoors. Planning on riding your bike this summer? I would recommend spending some time on an upright bike or taking a spin class to give your muscles a reminder. Even everyday tasks like walking, bending over and picking up your little ones or holding your own in a friendly game of horse shoes at the family BBQ can cause aches, pains or uncomfortable soreness if not ready.
Maintaining and building muscle is good for your metabolism, makes you strong, prevents falling, prevents injury, and lifts your mood. Maintaining or beginning a workout routine with a goal of continued muscular health or performing better at your sport or outside activity can be achieved by consistent resistance and cardiovascular training. Your time inside helps you maximize your time outside. Summer is short, but glorious, here in the land of the midnight sun. Enjoy.