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Sept. 1, 2013
End-of-Season Fitness ChecklistLisa Cachia
Summer is all about getting outside to play. And for ball players no time of year inspires us and transports us to a place where we feel so completely in our element.
No doubt, the game of softball is beloved by its players. The sport is perhaps most loved by senior players as demonstrated by their eagerness to participate at a time in life when others are slowing down.
As we approach the end of softball season it’s time to reflect upon our performance this year.
Focusing first on the positive, ask yourself what worked? How was my hitting, throwing and running? How was my strength, stamina and recovery time during and after play?
These are some important questions to contemplate when analyzing our seasonal accomplishments. Asking and honestly answering those questions can help identify areas that need improvement.
Whatever you determine to be your areas of needed improvement this year; adopting a consistent exercise program of general conditioning will greatly improve overall performance going forward.
General conditioning includes but is not limited to accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate level activity most days of the week. This will better prepare your body for more vigorous activity later.
If you are truly pressed for time, break it up into a few 15-minute rounds each day. Go for walks, ride a bike or take some kind of exercise class that is appropriate to your needs and level of fitness and increase frequency and intensity from there. But make it fun.
I cannot stress enough the value of learning to include stretching as part of a general condition program. Taking the time to stretch majors muscles of the upper and lower body each day can increase range of motion and help to prevent acute injury (tears, strains and sprains) to soft tissues. Stretching is relaxing for the mind and body and may relieve sore muscles.
If are unsure what to do to create a realistic program, talk to a physical therapist or fitness professional for ideas.
The trick to making any conditioning program work is consistency. As with any worthwhile undertaking, some advanced planning can lend itself to getting the best possible results.
Make an appointment with yourself to exercise. Putting your work out time into your calendar and treating it like a meeting you shouldn’t miss can help you stay on track.
Meet a friend to go for a walk and after that play catch. When was the last time you just went out and threw the ball around just for fun?
Making a point meet someone also encourages us to show up for activities.
Focusing on next season with a desire to feel good and perform well can be the best motivator to staying active and accountable to your commitment to exercise during the offseason.
So as the days grow short and the nights grow long, keep next season in mind. Find ways to work physical activity into your daily schedule and make a plan to play.
Please have regular check-ups and consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
Please contact Lisa Cachia, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at Benefitness@comcast.net with any questions or comments.