Sun's Out - Are you?

At last! After the short, cold northern winter days, the sun is out again!! And, you? Are you out? Outside, or Out Cold? Unfit, still in hibernation? Muscles dead? Lame? Or, you've been and visited the gym. Once or twice! But you're nowhere near ready to tackle the blue-hills-over-yonder!

Here's a few tips to get you outside, instead of out cold!

one - Do it!

Get into the hills and start playing! As long as you sit around and think about climbing, hiking, etc, that's all you'll do! The sooner you get out, the sooner you'll feel the bite of sore muscles, the sooner you will want to improve your shape! Watch out though, for straining! You're not as fit as you were at the end of the previous season. Ease into it.... Gently...

two - Drink!

At least a litre-and-a-half of water each day - and more, if you are training seriously. Water, free of fat and calories fills the stomach, reduces hunger pangs and helps the body get rid of excess kilos.

three - Eat!

Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, etc.) and veggies (carrots, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, etc.). Cut down on the grease: chips, chocs, cream, butter, dressings and toppings!

four - Go... the extra mile!

Every time you have a work-out, at the gym or in the hills, do a little extra! Soon you won't feel the effects of a normal day's outing; and get more enjoyment out of your day's hiking and climbing!

five - Rest!

The body needs time to recover from bouts of hard exercise. Give it a break every once in a while - relax, rest & recover.

six - Stretch!

Not just when you wake up in the morning, but at every spare moment. While waiting for the traffic light to change; sitting in your "favourite" office chair, or talking on the telephone! Splay and stretch fingers, pull shoulders back, stretch arms, straighten legs. All of these can be done in confined spaces, at virtually any time of the day! Sports Trainers time and time again emphasise the importance of stretching as part of the exercise routine, and more importantly, its role in preventing exercise related injury!

seven - Run... offroad!

Get off the pavement and onto the cross-country tracks. Running on uneven terrain allows more muscles, including the brain, to take part in the action! And builds better balance, agility and co-ordination!

Finally: If you feel the need for sport specific strength training, seek advice from your local gym. (Personally, I still believe that the best training for climbing, is climbing!)

Get out and do it!

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