Friday, March 18, 2016

Preparing for an active summer

Hiking in Colorado
Several days a week this winter I have been exercising indoors, preparing for an active summer season. Though my plans are still in progress, I see myself in the outdoors a lot this summer. I hope to backpack and bicycle in the Colorado high country, and need to develop my body to handle the trips. I need to be in shape for road trips too and keep my health good in general.
Four days each week, I do 50 crunches, 25 push-ups and 20 squats, plus 15 minutes of stretching my legs. My leg muscles have always been tight, and now they are tighter.
On alternate days I go the gym where I live, ride the recumbent bicycle and lift weights on the machines. I started bicycling 30 minutes a day during January's cold, now in March I ride harder for 20 minutes including a 5 minute cool down. I setup a manual workout, either a series of climbs or on-off wind sprints. On the weight machine I do ten sets of ten bench presses, pausing a few moments between each set. I also perform a rowing and a bar pull-down exercise with differing weights. My goal is to increase muscle mass and tone and to strengthen my core.
My plan has been working for me, and while I keep increasing weights and duration's a bit weekly, I am sleeping better, standing straighter and climbing stairs easier. My weight hasn't changed much, but you can now see the muscles in my arms and abs. My work is at a sit-down job indoors, so I get up every 30-40 minutes and walk around the building.

Pavement ends on Ridge Road in Castle Rock last summer
I live at 6300 feet of elevation, so I still get out of breath climbing stairs. When I used to live here and bicycle centuries weekly, I was still out of breath on stairs. I climb stairs daily at home and work and weekly when volunteering.
My good weather plans for April are to leave the gym behind and begin a 2 day per week hike while wearing a day pack for 5 miles each day, and increase the miles as summer approaches. I also plan to dust of my bicycle and begin riding that on local bike trails, alternating with hiking one to 2 days weekly. I plan to increase the mileage, days and training time on the local hills to be able to ride a metric century (60 miles) easily by mid summer.
No superlative goals yet, but I am getting rid of my winter flab and am toning up for a busy summer in Colorado, planing to be able to enjoy the great outdoors!

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