Swallows To Capistrano
It is spring and summer will be here soon. Everyone is preordained to go outside for recreation. By some genetic vestige of the pre-urbanite, like swallows returning to Capistrano, we head for our favorite outdoor activity. The air breathes differently. The sun feels warmer but not burning hot. Our body energy patterns seem all tuned up. The truth may hurt. Our bodies might not be ready for Spring. Recreational Fitness: activities where the primary purpose of the activity is participation, with the related goals of improved physical fitness, fun and social involvement (Encyclopedia.com). Biking, running, walking, swimming, all types of water sports, climbing, horseback riding, and park lawn relaxing all fit the definition and all have their hazards.
The fitness industry says, “Summer bodies are made in the Spring”. They are trying to capitalize on our natural drive for spring activity and sell us something. Logically, we know it takes more than 2 or 3 months to get a “summer body”, but let’s keep the dream alive. We can start the activities, but let’s do it right.
Every activity needs a warm up. Do some basic stretches. Start slow and work your way up to the more strenuous conditions.
In the 1970s and 1980s, I was a High School Physical Education teacher. Student classes in P.E. were changing from being mandatory to being an elective. Physical Education teachers were looking for ways to keep students active, enrolled, and interested. I started a bicycling class. It was well attended and fairly popular. The class began by getting to know your bike. Students learned the names of the parts and how they worked. They learned some basic maintenance. The boys and girls learned how to fix a flat tire. Next, I went over what safety gear to have and how to stretch before a ride. All this was done before students could ride their own bike in the class. It was the preparation for a successful recreational activity. We started riding with short trips around the campus. The purpose was to practice gear changes and braking before we headed out. The workout excursions were on the nearby concrete and asphalt riverbed and there we all got our fitness workout safely.
The concepts and the rituals apply for any spring activity. You should get to know your gear (including your body), learn some basic maintenance, have the safety gear, stretch to warm up, start slow and short to make sure everything works, and you know how to work everything.
Your spring activities could be gardening or a long jungle river rafting excursion, let’s come out of it whole, perfect, and complete.
Summer bodies are not built in the spring, summer bodies are built in the shopping cart. Eat right all year.
Next Blog: How the Sweet Potato rescued me, really.