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It’s no secret that part of living a healthy lifestyle is engaging in regular physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. This can include gardening, housework or walking around the block in addition to actual exercise. Now that the temperatures are climbing and the sun is shining, it can be fun to take your workout outdoors. This keeps things interesting, helps you avoid fitness plateaus and offers new challenges with the changing seasons.
Swimming: When the sun is shining and hot, there’s nothing more refreshing than diving into a cool pool. Swimming is an excellent cardio workout, but it also helps strengthen your muscles in both your legs and upper body. You can do laps of various strokes, from crawl stroke to backstroke or breast-stroke to target different parts of the body while improving heart strength and enjoying being outdoors.
Kayaking: While it may not seem like a traditional workout, paddling a kayak offers a great strengthening opportunity. You have to sit tall with good posture, so you core muscles must be engaged and working. Additionally, to get going, you must row through the water, which really works your upper body muscles.
Hiking: If you prefer walking as your cardio exercise, you might have spent the cold weather months on a treadmill. This is a great option for when it’s too chilly outside, but now that it’s nice out, pair your walk with some great scenery! Head to a local nature preserve and hike along a trail. The different terrain will make you work harder, and the surrounding natural beauty is sure to put a smile on your face.
Outdoor bootcamp: Amp up a walk or jog around the park by creating an outdoor bootcamp routine. Fixtures like benches, steps and playgrounds provide all you need for bodyweight strength exercises. Monkey bars are great for pull ups, and benches make the perfect tricep dip equipment and steps offer a way to enhance lunges. Have fun and get creative with modifying traditional bodyweight exercises using the whole park.
Whatever workout you do, be sure to warm up before and cool down after to avoid sore musclesand injuries. It’s always a good idea to stretch post-exercise, and if muscles feel tight you can work them out with a personal massager.
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Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.
Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride: