Yes, Winnipeg, our precious summer has arrived.
Temperatures are rising, and along with the heat comes late sunsets, warm evenings, and a mass exodus from the gym to the cottage, park or beach.
Training outdoors, in an uncontrolled environment, with heat, wind or uneven terrain can provide a tougher workout and stimulate the senses. You’ll soak up some Vitamin D, reduce stress, and get the chance to enjoy all that nature has to offer. Instead of heading to the gym, try one of these outdoor training ideas:
Intervals: Running in the sand at the beach is a workout like no other. Sprint 50 metres to 100 metres, then rest and walk back. Repeat for a total of 10 sets. If you can’t get out to the beach, find an outdoor staircase, such as at the Manitoba legislative buildings, and do the same routine with stairs.
Take up a summer sport: If you are at the lake, consider taking up a water sport. Waterskiing, kneeboarding, and wakeboarding are great full-body workouts. If water sports aren’t your thing, consider joining a local intramural sports league. Soccer, baseball, and ultimate frisbee leagues abound in Winnipeg. It’s a great way to meet new people, stay active and have fun.
Play: Explore local parks and playgrounds with kids or on your own. Climb the monkey bars, play on the swings, and challenge your balance by walking beams or climbing the jungle gym. Remember summers spent outside as a child, playing softball, riding your bike, building tree forts and swimming at the pond? Who says you can’t be the example and get your kids to enjoy the same fun you had as child?
Plan a trip: A canoe trip or camping trip is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate exercise into a family vacation or a low-key getaway. Go camping, and you might even get to chop some wood. Even if all you have is an afternoon, you can still go on a great hike. You don’t need to travel far to find excellent trails in Manitoba. Get a group of friends or family together for a day trip to Bird’s Hill Park.
Sign up for a race: Summertime in Winnipeg provides ample opportunities for triathalons, five-kilometre races, bike races, even fun races like mud runs and charity events. There’s nothing like an impending competition date to motivate you to train regularly. Rally your friends to sign up as well and you can all train together.
If you are planning to train outdoors, remember that acclimating to heat can take a few weeks. Don’t forget to ease into it, hydrate adequately, and maintain electrolyte levels.
Tania Tetrault Vrga is owner and head trainer at CrossFit Winnipeg. Send questions to her at www.crossfitwinnipeg.com