While the weather is still cold in central New York, Ithaca is a thriving town that promotes fitness and being outside. There are endless parks, hiking trails, mountains, etc to give even the most avid busybodies a killer workout.
I, on the other hand, am not nearly in as good a shape as I thought!
Granted, I do have the tendency to get in over my head when it comes to situations I wasn’t prepared for.. but I definitely pushed myself way too far over the past two days- I can barely walk now! (RIP little leggies..)
If you’re also itching to get a headstart on your spring fitness goals, don’t be a total idiot like me. Keep a few things in mind:
1) Have good footwear. I can’t stress this enough- your feet are everything, so take good care of them. Wear appropriate shoes, with custom orthotics if needed. Having the proper support is super important, especially if you find yourself farther out than you planned on going.
2) Dress in layers. Be prepared for changes in temperature or weather by having multiple articles of clothing that you can put on or remove according to your comfort level. It sucks being cold and wet and not having a hoodie or jacket available.
3) Plan your trip beforehand. Make sure you know where you’re going and how far it is. In case of the unfortunate circumstance you don’t have phone service or a map, you should have some idea where you’re at.
4) Stay hydrated. Carry water, a sports drink, or something similar with you (not soda). Think dry mouth/throat is your only problem? Other symptoms of dehydration include muscle fatigue, cramping, headaches and heat stroke.
5) Stretch! I cannot stress this enough- you must stretch before and after a workout, if not during as well. Nothing is worse than an injury (especially at the beginning), and getting yourself stranded with it. To add insult to injury, you can expect a prolonged recovery period. Not fun.
6) Bring tissues. I don’t know about you but between the cold air, wind, pollen count, etc, I always seem to be in need of a tissue. It’s better to be prepared than to go without and have to depend on restaurant napkins, or worse, your sleeve (eew).
A couple of post-workout tips:
7) Heat therapy. After your cool-down and stretching, plan to take a warm shower or bath later, and massage Icy Hot into your sore/tired areas. This promotes circulation and rapid healing, and your body will thank you tomorrow.
Get some sleep. Allow yourself enough time to relax, sleep and recover for the next day. The general rule of thumb is if you don’t get an appropriate amount of rest at night, you can’t perform at your best the next day. In an increasingly fast-paced world, sleep is very underrated and too often traded for caffeine and other stimulants. Be nice to your body and it will continue to serve you well in future days.
Do you have any fitness tips you’d like to add?