We are four months into 2013 and headed for springtime. So, now is the time to S.P.R.I.N.G. into action catapulting you into a fantastic fitness level for spring and summer. The S.P.R.I.N.G. acronym is simple, easy to remember and may keep you heading toward springtime fitness success. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
S – Strength work is essential to ensure a strong and healthy body. There is no downside to being strong and muscular strength should be a regularly performed component of any well designed exercise program. There is a synergistic relationship between your stabilizing muscles and your mobilizing muscles. Therefore, when designing a program, emphasize that integration throughout the body improving form, function, stability and mobility.
P – Power training is the combination of strength and speed work. And, power training is not just for those clients that are already fit. We utilize power training with every fitness level and, when well-designed, taking into careful consideration the limitations of the client, improvements in power have systemic results. Increases in power include improved reaction time and this is essential throughout life. Those that begin to lose power as they age, may find themselves at greater risks for falls leading to increases in hip fractures and other unpleasant physical issues, many of which are avoidable.
R – Recovery is critical to all fitness programs regardless of intensity levels. The body needs to rest and repair and this happens during recovery. If you create a six-day workout week, find one day to recover and you will be amazed how well you will perform the other six days. If your workout week is well structured and progressed, one full recovery day should be adequate. Exceptions to this rule apply when clients are preparing for endurance events such as triathlons and marathons. When approaching the event week, tapering is important and there are often one-three days of recovery during that week depending upon the duration and intensity of the event.
I – Interval training is simple to design and easy to perform indoors or outdoors. You may begin with an exertion to recovery interval of 30 seconds of exertion followed by one-two minutes of recovery. For example, run for 30 seconds and walk for one-two minutes repeating this sequence five-ten times followed by five minutes of steady state training. The variations and methods of use are infinite. Interval training may be high intensity (i.e. high intensity interval training—HIIT) or it may simply be working within methodical intervals to challenge the body and provide structure.
N – New, yet small changes in your exercise program, may have an enormous impact upon your fitness success. Consider modifying one fitness component at a time. For example, increase the frequency, intensity, duration or type of exercise, one at a time. This keeps your program interesting, challenges the body continually and follows the periodization model of training which states that periodically we create changes to assist the body in progressive improvement (i.e. stress/adaptation).
G – Go! Just get out there and move, take action, make this the spring and summer that you are able to pursue the physical activities you would like to and then enjoy being fit and healthy.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.