We don’t choose extreme sports, they choose us. That’s my husband’s saying anyway. For me, it’s more like we can choose what we enjoy, but we cannot choose our bodies. Regardless, whether we want to compete or just do it for fun, we need to work on our bodies to get them optimal for a good time be it on the piste, off-piste, running over mountains, or biking through the wilderness. Here in Colorado we’re blessed with some fantastic landscapes, but they will challenge us and we need to be ready.
The 4 Key Areas
Most extreme sports are seasonal in Colorado. Skiing and snowboarding in the winter and biking in the summer. However, your fitness needs to be year round – even through Thanksgiving and Christmas. Therefore, you need to consider these 4 key areas:
- Endurance and Stamina: How much can you do and how long for? This is your running, hiking, and your cycling. You need to be able to maintain energy levels across different landscapes and climates.
- Flexibility: You can work these into programs or spend the whole day on them, but work on gluteus maximus exercises, stability, flexing, and impact practice. Before you run, you need to know how to fall.
- Dynamic Movement: When moving fast through complex landscapes, you need to be able to move and adapt fast. For example to weave through trees, cope with bumps, and ride up and down slopes or move from climbing to jumping, to bouncing from rock to rock, or even swimming.
- Strength: The best way to create and maintain power is through strength training and the creation of lean muscle mass.
Keeping Track of Your Progress
There are several ways of keeping track of your progress. For some, it’s a gut feeling based on how your body feels before, during, and after a training session or while out doing the sport of their choice. For others, it’s all about competition performance. Finally, many others want actual metrics they can check. This means their weight each morning, muscle mass, speed, times, weights lifted and so on. However, the key to metrics and to technology which tracks it, is that these are not the be all and end all of anything. All the devices in the world will not make a person healthier or fitter. What is more important than smart tech is the right attitude.
Always Put Yourself First
When it comes to sports and getting fit, we’ve got to listen to our bodies. No matter how extreme or totally not extreme in any way or form, our exercise is, we should not put undue strain on ourselves. First, know your limits at your starting point. Know what’s ok for your body to do and not do. Then set realistic goals and look for slow, incremental progress. Your body will be the better for it. Also realize that we cannot all be extreme sports stars, but we can all make the best of what nature’s given us.
Written By: Jocelyn Brown