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Keep the focus on the springtime and prepare now when it is cold and snowy outside

Exercise packet to accompany this article can be found here.

Kind of a catchy title for an article but we are all excited for spring if you are a biker and want to ride.  Of course many of us can ride in the winter with the correct gear and the correct biking equipment.  As a spinal therapist, I focus a lot on how the spine works and what will make it work better and most of all, how can you get it stronger.  This edition will give you the exercises to do now, so that you can be ready for the April thaw and May excitement when riding is just around the corner. 

So why do we workout?
Coming from an old hockey player, this is a weird question to ask, but one may ask; if I ride, why do I need to do any extra exercise?  You can think about it in this light; if you do not preload or workout the muscle, you will never know what you can accomplish or how hard you can push yourself.  The overall effect is being prepared.  Training during the winter to be ready by spring time is a good idea that will keep your body in shape as well as your mind.  We are not all going to train as hard as Lance did or even work to get as fast as Mark Cavendish, but we can keep our legs, hips, and trunk in shape.

Where to begin:
The organization of this editions exercise packet will begin with strength work on the deep muscles of your belly.  Remember when working on this activity you can do so in sitting, standing or in the quadruped position.  When you are riding or bent over for long periods, a good thing to do is to practice this activity. 

Hip Muscles:
The hip muscles are very important to pelvic control and supporting the lower spine.  This activity needs to be performed twice a week, every week, and even during the spring time when biking season is upon us.  The hip muscles will also help to keep the lower pelvis joints in place.

Lumbar spine muscles:
These muscles are very important during riding as well as in your daily life.  The strength of these muscles is imperative.  These muscles must be worked on four days a week, every week.  In the exercise packet on the website, you will see pictures on your belly and in the quadruped position.  This is all to be performed to keep the strength of your lumbar spine strong and supportive during daily life and recreational activities. 

Stretching:
This is performed after you workout, not before.  A 15-20 second hold is a good place to begin with.  You should keep this up throughout the biking season.  After you ride, stretch when you are done to keep the tissues from getting too tight during the workout and biking season. 

How much aerobic conditioning do you need when you start and during training season?
This answer varies but I would begin with 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (elliptical, bike, treadmill, arm bike, etc.) and progress up to 30 minutes.  If you enjoy this type of activity, then work even further but do not exceed 45 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 4-5 days a week.
I am a fan of the polar monitor system since it provides me with my heart rate, average heart rate and what my calories are.  It also tells me if I am working too hard, so you may consider picking one up.  They can range from $60 to $129 so there is a nice range.  The bottom line is keep your heart in shape so you will be ready for your spring rides.

Water:
Keeping hydrated is essential.  If you are not a fan of water, you might try sqeezing  in some lemon or some lime to make it taste better. 

But what kind is just as important as drinking it.  I am an advocate of alkaline water which helpd you hydrate better and helps with soreness after exercise. Drinking alkaline water also helps you detoxify your body, helps your kidneys and even helps your liver. 

The expert in this area is Dr. Don Colbert from Florida and if you look him up online you can see the differences in alkaline water machines and home usage. 

Final Comments:
  • Workout 4-5 days a week for aerobic conditioning
  • Workout 2 days a week on your hip muscles
  • Workout 4 days a week on your lumbar spine muscles
  • Workout on a continual basis for your belly muscles
  • Stretch out after your exercises and after biking and not before.
  • Water up….drink your alkaline water
As always, workout hard and get ready for a long and happy biking season.







    

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