The Hamilton Spectator
Early spring tune-up
Think in terms of performance, protection and body composition to ensure a safe and enjoyable spring and summer
For those who truly dislike winter, solace can be taken in the fact that “real” spring isn’t too far off. It’ll be here in a matter of weeks and the cold and snow will be a fading memory.
From a fitness perspective, right now is a great time for an early spring tune-up in preparation for the activities that you might be engaging in throughout the spring and into the summer.
In today’s column, I’d like to present a unique way to approach your training and how to qualify the different activities that you might be doing to get ready.
When I work with an athlete preparing for a competitive (or recreational) activity, I suggest looking at their training program in three ways. I want to help them work on performance, protection and body composition.
What I mean by that is that some of the work they do to prepare for golf or hockey or hiking or just to live an active life that includes gardening and home maintenance is about being able to do things “better.” In other words this part of your training is geared toward improving performance.
The second part of a “spring tuneup” should be to improve your chances of not getting injured doing whatever you love to do; building a resilient body that is better protected from injury.
This translates into less back pain from swinging a club, less hip pain from planting a garden and less chance of hurting your shoulder when playing catch with your kids or grandkids.
The third piece of this particular fitness puzzle is to focus on body composition. While it’s not a priority for everyone, it is an obsession for many of people. Body composition refers to the overall makeup of the body.
In very simple terms, it is the amount of lean muscle tissue versus the amount of fat on someone’s body. It is usually expressed in terms of “body fat percentage.”
While the majority of fitness clients reach out for help in losing weight and/or fat, there are also many people who would benefit
greatly from focusing on muscle building and adding weight in the form of lean tissue.
As a way of making challenging concepts easy to understand, I love breaking things down into groups of 3 ideas and/or directives.
Taking this approach with exercise, activity and training removes so much of the mystery out of what to do and how to move (and feed) the body and really makes things simple.
Thinking in terms of performance, protection and body composition makes it simple.
Take some time this week to think about the things that you want to do over the next several months and break those things down into “movements” that you can train for in your weekly exercise sessions.
Additionally, make it a priority to develop the stabilizer muscles in your back, hips and shoulders that are responsible for moving your body safely in most sports and summer activities like gardening, hiking, biking and swimming.
Then consider what changes you can make to your eating habits that can help you to lose fat and/or gain muscle that will allow you to move and perform better with less risk of getting hurt or injured.