26th September, 2012
I remember clearly what it was like, training in very cold weather. I attended a Leadership and Citizenship training programme some years ago in Sherri Hills, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.
The weather was cold because it was the harmattan season at that period of the year, I had to wear woolly jacket and woolly exercise pants. But the most interesting part is that 15 minutes after commencing an exercise session, we all felt the desire to change into something lighter because we were already sweating.
If you exercise outdoors, you will want to dress for the weather. During sunny days, it’s not hard to figure out what to wear. As little as the law (and morality) will allow you, right? Just don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, and when possible a face cap.
In the cold season, your first inclination is to bundle up. But five minutes into your workout, you’re sweating, which means you putting off your jacket. Another way to do this is to wear long-sleeved T-shirt on top. You can strip off the top layer as you get overheated and tie it around your waist. Heat escapes from your head and feet. Wool socks and a knitted cap on your head will alleviate the problem.
In Step With Time
You will need an easy-to-read wrist watch for timing exercise sessions. (Go for time, not kilometres, at least a half hour per session.) Make sure the numbers are big enough to read. In addition, you may want a watch face that lights up for early morning and evening workouts.
Use the second hand to check your heart rate. Every 15 minutes, stop or walk slowly and count your pulse for six seconds. Add a zero to the number and you have your heart rate for one minute. If it’s not up to training level, pick up the pace. If you are exercising, slow it down.
For those who can afford heart rate monitors, they are handy little gadgets to keep you exercising at a productive level of intensity. They do the figuring for you.
The Best Choice
After all said and done, I must let you know that it is also very important to develop healthy attitudes and habits. Here are some ways to do this.
•Decide to make exercise a permanent part of your life.
•Set manageable goals.
•Make appointment with yourself daily.
•Select activities that you enjoy.
•Incorporate strength, endurance, and flexibility into your routine.
•Do at least one thing—move aerobically.
•Start out slowly.
•Listen to your body.
•Make it enjoyable so you will keep doing it day after day.
•Realise that any exercise is better than no exercise at all.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to begin your aerobic training. Almost everyone can do it. There is very little risk of injury and it is easy to pace yourself.
Walking is low impact and requires little or no stretching, unless your muscle feels tight. It burns as many calories as running when you cover the same distance. For example, you burn the same number of calories brisk walking a kilometre as you do running a kilometre . You just get there faster when you run! In fact, walking at a fast pace is a more difficult workout than a slow run.
For cardiovascular fitness, walk four days per week. For weight loss, try to walk everyday to keep your metabolism stimulated and your activity calorie high. If you are a beginner start with 30 minutes and gradually increase your distance and time. Walking is convenient because you can do it anywhere.
Remember to wear a supportive, flexible shoe to enjoy the sights.