Use slopes to get in shape

By Wina Sturgeon, Adventure Sports Weekly (MCT)
Posted Feb. 17, 2012, at 6:34 p.m.

The time for active outdoor sports is not far away, and when the warm weather comes, it’s a fantastic feeling to be in shape. But there’s a problem that usually begins this time of year. Right now, when it’s time to start training for spring and summer activities and competitions, is when the “workout wearies” hit.

You’re tired of the same old gym. You’re bored with your same old routine. More and more, you’re just going through the motions, not really putting any heart or spark into your conditioning. That means at best, you’re just maintaining; not progressing.

Don’t let boredom kick your butt. One of the best ways to get out of the training doldrums is to change surroundings. The best change? Take some of your workouts outside. To get a little personal, let me describe the best workout I’ve had all winter.

It was during the recent Winter Dew Tour stop at Snowbasin, Utah. Living in the Salt Lake area, I’m literally surrounded by scenic snow-capped mountains, and do my share of playing in the snow. But this year, I haven’t been able to make it to the resorts very often, much less to the gym. The candy I’d eaten had made its home on my hips. My body protested the very idea of being roused to do some work.

Then came the Dew Tour with its slope-style and half-pipe courses. One was an entire medium-steep slope filled with jumps, rails and other features. The other was the longest half-pipe ever used in competition. The Dew Tour is a great event, wonderful to cover, but it’s not a walk in the park. It’s hard work. Each step uphill takes a lot of energy. But I had to walk up to the start of both courses several times a day, then gingerly walk (and occasionally slide) down the two hills for a week.

The first day, I was gasping. By the third day, I could get to the top without stopping to rest. By the final day, walking up the steep slope-style course was actually invigorating, and I no longer dreaded the thought of it.

Yes, there were sore leg muscles after it was over. But despite that, I wanted to get to the gym. Just walking up a snow-covered mountain slope had reawakened the urge to make my body work again.

If your desire to train has started to dwindle, an outdoor break may be just what you need. But literally, don’t merely take a walk in the park. Give your body some actual work to do. Climb the boulders along a rocky trail. Walk backward up a steep paved hill to condition different muscles. Put your body under stress in the clean fresh air, and you’ll get a motivational boost that will restore your desire to do those carefully scheduled gym workouts again.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/17/outdoors/use-slopes-to-get-in-shape/ printed on September 30, 2014