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Spring Training

As the days gather more light we gather more energy. Spring is a good time to turn your focus to muscular strength and endurance training. It’s recommended that one participate in total body strengthening two to three times per week with at least one day of recovery in between. On the off days you can practice flexibility or cardiovascular training or take a rest day. For those that prefer to do strength and endurance work daily, alternating parts of the body worked allows needed rest without losing momentum. As Spring is a new season, it is a great time to reevaluate how your New Year’s Resolutions are going. Assess where you are with your goals and fine-tune them. It is the perfect time to exercise outdoors and get going on specific goals to be ready for summer adventure plans to climb mountains or run trails. Regarding incorporating strength training, you can focus on general total body conditioning or program for specific workouts for an upcoming event. Planning and preparation can make these activities more enjoyable and can lessen the risk of injury. For example, in the summer I do long distance backpacking in the Eastern High Sierra. I carry a backpack that when fully loaded weighs 40 pounds for 12-14 miles a day. I climb up to an average of 12,000 feet and down to 9,000 day after day. My spring strength training is therefore focused on legs, gluteal and spinal strengthening. This routine includes squats, deadlifts, lunges and modified pull ups. Additionally, I hike 4-6 miles, 5 days a week on the trails in Rock Creek Park. Throughout the year, I continue my daily yoga practice for mobility and flexibility. One might be surprised how beneficial flexibility training is for trail climbing over and crawling under fallen trees and other obstacles, particularly when negotiating a heavy backpack. Another important thought about strength training: it may be overlooked for its value in boosting our metabolism and keeping our bones healthy. If you are in the mindset of “losing weight”, you may reframe this with “I need to gain muscle”. Active muscle mass will help your metabolic system burn calories and fat, even when at rest. As we age weight bearing exercise, including strength training, is important for bone density and to keep us vital and active. If you are new to strength training, I suggest you hire a Certified Personal Trainer to get you started. This ensures that your specific needs will be addressed in a safe and progressive way. We are lucky that in the Cleveland Park neighborhood we have a variety of businesses that offer group classes and or one-on-one training. You can also hire a trainer like me to come to your home or work with you over FaceTime. There are options in all price ranges so there’s no excuse! “I don’t need easy. I just need possible “ -Bethany Hamilton-Soul Surfer

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