Sunday, August 26, 2012

From Trails to Treadmills: transitioning to winter athletics

The Soloway JCC outdoor pool, open til the weather changes!


Summer is quickly transitioning into fall—for those of us in the drought-stricken areas, a break from the heat actually sounds good about now—and Brian and I have been talking about what sports we’re going to get back into once the sun starts setting earlier and sweaters become mandatory. As two active sorts of people, we started talking about the unsteady transition that can happen when someone stops summer sports and picks up cold-weather ones. Luckily, our friends at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre had some handy advice, and we’re sharing it with you all. Soloway's Fall/Winter activity guide is available now, and you can access it on their website. There are lots of new programs for all ages and interests, like fun after-school programs for kids, fitness classes, and adult programs.

Ryan Armitage is the Fitness Centre Manager at the SJCC. We’vetalked before about the awesome fitness facilities at the centre, and another great thing about the place is the knowledgeable fitness staff. We interviewed Ryan and got some tips for those of you who will be transitioning into winter sports as the season changes…

NEST: As people get off of vacation and get back into indoor fitness, what are some of the pitfalls or mistakes that they make? (Ie wrong equipment, overdoing it, etc)?  

RYAN: Overdoing  it seems to be the main culprit for those coming back from exercising outdoors to indoors. When our bodies recondition to different aspects of fitness, it is sometimes difficult to readjust back to our old routines. The good thing is that our muscles remember the things we were doing before so there’s no need to panic; you will get back to where you were in no time. It is important to ease into your old routine while returning. I recommend asking a fitness professional to check over your form and make sure that any bad habits are rectified so you can continue with an effective yet safe routine.

NEST: What kinds of things can winter athletes be doing now to prepare for the snowy season?

RYAN: Depending on which winter activity you are preparing for, there is always a wide range of exercises that can be done to maximize your preparation for the winter season. A nice mix of functional exercises targeted specifically to the muscle groups you will be using for the activity is the best way to both improve your conditioning and keep your workouts challenging and interesting.

NEST: As we head into the autumn, our food availability (and traditions, like Thanksgiving) start to change. Any tips on autumn nutrition?

RYAN: It is important that we are still getting a wide variety of nutrients to help the body with reparation and preparation. As the seasons change, certain foods are scarce so it is important to find healthy alternatives to these foods. If you need assistance in determining which foods might be a healthy equivalent to those you were always consuming, I would speak to either a fitness professional or nutritionist to make sure you are taking in the healthiest and most effective foods to fuel your body. As we near the holiday season, portion size is the main culprit to our holiday eating woes. It is very easy to go for seconds and thirds and over-consume the calorie intake that is necessary. It is also important to watch out for liquid calories, alcohol being the main culprit. High calorie liquids don't fill you up as much, and the lack of feeling full can quickly escalate our caloric intake.

NEST: How do people successfully manage a fitness regime once the fall starts and schedules seems so much tighter?

RYAN: There is a large misconception that the longer you exercise, the more benefit you are getting. A lot of research is showing that a more intense, shorter duration workout can burn as much or more calories as a longer medium intensity workout. It is important to put aside some time in your day to dedicate to yourself for not only health of the body but mind as well and get as much "bang for your buck" as possible if you are strapped for time.

NEST: If people are interested in starting a new fitness plan or a new sport, who can they talk to at the centre and how do they connect with them?

Soloway has an indoor saltwater pool. It's awesome.
RYAN: You can either contact me (Ryan Armitage) in the fitness center or our Health and Wellness Director Carla Gencher. We would be happy to set you up with an orientation to learn the new equipment and set you up on a routine. We also have personal trainers that can assist you with any sport specific routines.

A big thanks to Ryan and the Soloway Jewish Community Centre for this great advice. Brian is talking about getting back into cross-country skiing this season, while I plan on getting back into weights and other activities done in the warmth of the gym. Either way, it’ll be a transition from rollerskating and yoga in the park, and with this great advice, it’ll hopefully be a smooth one.

If you're thinking of joining the SJCC, they now have online registration. Members should have their membership card, as well as their credit card handy to go online and register starting from Monday August 13th. Non-Members could start registering starting on August 20th, 2012. All programs at the Soloway JCC are open to everyone. And a bonus: Joining the Soloway JCC during the month of September can save you money on an annual membership and personal training--so don't put off your goals 'til New Years resolution time; take the next step now for better wellness.

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