Springing into fair weather fitness

Mon Apr 2, 2012 9:58am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the spring an exerciser's fancy turns to thoughts of outdoor activities.

Before attacking that Saturday softball game or weekend charity run, experts say, prepare your body for the switch.

"We really want them to train for the transition so that they don't get slammed doing a sport on the weekend they haven't prepared for," said Lashaun Dale, who is the national creative group fitness manager at Equinox, the chain of luxury gyms.

Dale said circuit classes, which exercise one muscle group after another, and interval training classes, which alternate periods of high and low intensity, can fortify the foul weather body for those fair weather team sports.

"They are really great choices for weekend sport activities, because they train the body's ability to change between energy systems and to make the quick dynamic movements that so many sports require of you," Dale said.

Part of training for a specific sport, Dale added, is counter balance and compensation.

"Train the opposite movement pattern," said Dale. "Think full range of motion and not just body part. A pitcher's arm goes back before it propels forward."

Springing suddenly into an outdoor activity after a sedentary winter is an easy way to get injured, according to Dale.   Continued...