Balancing Indoor and Outdoor Exercise

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Mar 08, 2021

As spring comes to the northern hemisphere, indoor exercise loses some of its appeal as we long for more time outdoors. Up here in northern Vermont, we know we still have a couple months before it’s really spring—but we feel the same transition coming. We’ll ski until the snow is gone, but we’ll also start running and riding our bikes on good days—and we’ll jump on the RowErg, SkiErg or BikeErg when the weather is just nasty.

What’s the best way to balance indoor and outdoor exercise so that you can take advantage of the weather? It’s important to gradually build your outdoor pursuits while maintaining familiarity with your RowErg, BikeErg or SkiErg so that you can always get a good intense workout indoors when needed.

Here’s a suggested progression:

 

Indoors

Outdoors

Hints of Spring 

(2-3 weeks)

Maintain your indoor routine, but shorten your time just a little on nice days and get outside for a short jog or ride.

Keep it really fun and easy and not too long. Take advantage of the nice days! 

Spring Fever 

(2-3 weeks)

Begin to substitute outdoor workouts for your easier indoor workouts, but continue some harder work indoors.

Build up the length of your outdoor workouts, but not yet the intensity.

It's Really Spring! 

(3-4 weeks)

Maintain 2-4 indoor workouts/week including a variety of lengths and intensity, depending on what you’re able to do outdoors.

Build to 3-5 outdoor workouts/week and begin to introduce intensity as desired.

On to Summer

If your summers are hot, you may find it preferable to stay indoors most of the time; in any case, stay in touch with indoor training so you have it when you need it.

Watch for bad weather days or hot conditions and use these days to workout indoors.

Key Concepts:

  • Build slowly into your outdoor sports as you return to them. This can help prevent injury.
  • Take advantage of indoor training for intensity sessions, until your body is ready for the intensity outdoors
  • Keep in touch with your equipment even during outdoor seasons, so that you can jump back on it when you need it. Do this on bad weather days, or days when you run out of daylight or hours in the day.

Maybe you have the option of moving your machine outdoors for a workout, depending on where you live. This can be a great option for a spring workout with the best of both worlds—a familiar form of exercise, but outdoors in the spring weather.

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