No matter what activities you enjoy doing outside of the gym, there are weight training exercises you can do to boost your potential. Golf? Google your favorite golfer’s name and there’s a good chance you can find a sample of their favorite gym workout. Skiing? Follow Lindsey Vonn’s Instagram page for some serious fitspiration—holy cow can that girl work! Think that the only way to improve your running is by running more? False! Add some weight training to your routine and feel the miles start to become faster and easier.
Many people think that since I work as a personal trainer, I must enjoy spending my days in the gym and the weight room. While I love working with my clients and helping them to reach their goals, I am happiest when I’m outside hiking, skiing, and more recently I’ve even started mountain biking. I also know that to maintain and improve my performance in my favorite activities, I have to spend some time indoors with the weights and machines—and so should you!
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
2019 has been the year of trying new things and attempting activities outside of my normal comfort zone. I love being in the woods and exploring new locations and mountain biking takes my adventures to another level. The first time I tried it out, it wasn’t my legs or my lungs that were the first to burn out, it was the muscles in my hands! I had to keep stopping to shake out and stretch out my hands; after I was finished, holding on to the steering wheel on the drive home was a challenge! Improving my grip strength has become a new goal for me—single arm farmers carry, bar hangs, and pull-ups have become a bigger part of my workouts. I still have moments of sheer panic where I find myself gripping the handlebars for dear life and narrowly scraping by random trees when the trail gets a little too narrow, but I’m able to maintain my grip and ride it out.
Over the winter I added skinning to my list of outdoor activities along with downhill skiing and snowshoeing. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s like hiking uphill with your ski boots and skis attached to your feet. The first time I went I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish the trek up; I work out daily and downhill ski a few days a week, in my mind, there was no reason it should have felt so hard! Needless to say, I was hooked and was determined to become better at it and get to a point where I could hopefully carry on a conversation as I made my way up the mountain. By adding more lower body training to my workouts and jumping on the treadmill a couple of times a week, it gradually started to become easier. I’ll continue to train over the summer in hope that it will be an easy transition into the winter by the time there’s enough snow coverage.
Dedicate the Time
I’ll take fresh air and some sunshine over being in the gym any day, but to keep up with my outdoor activities I know that I have to spend some time with the weights and machines. Doing exercises that are specific to the hobbies I do for fun and that work my total body is essential to keep myself fit and to also reduce the possibility of accidental injuries. By building up the muscles that support my joints (particularly my knees) I’m able to stay active for longer periods of time and not feel as sore after the fact. Google is a great resource when it comes to looking for exercises that may help you, but reach out to a trainer in your area for an exercise program that is more specific to you and your needs.