As we begin to transition into the cold Wisconsin weather it is hard to resist the urge to stay inside all day snuggled in bed. But don’t worry– it is possible to maintain your physical fitness without freezing. Luckily at Marquette we have two great facilities students can take advantage of to get their fix of adrenaline.
Both the Rec Center (located on 16th Street) and Rec Plex (located on Wisconsin Avenue, in Straz Hall) have accessible hours for everyones’ busy schedules. The gyms have plenty of equipment, cardio machines, and a variety of fitness classes to meet your every indoor need. You can access location hours and information on the Marquette website.
The key to transitioning from outdoor to indoor workouts is to make the transition gradual. When the body is used to the aspects of outdoor weather, it may take time for it to get acclimated to a new workout location. If you prefer running outside, the treadmill will feel very different. Take it slow, and make sure not to hurt yourself by running too fast.
Treadmill workouts can be just as effective as running down to the lakefront. A treadmill can be adjusted to your specific needs by giving you the option to control the speed, time, or incline of your run. If you’re used to running up the hill on Wisconsin Avenue toward Mashuda, turn up the incline on the treadmill. If you’re new to the treadmill, take it easy by walking on level one and then slowly increase your speed or incline each day. Whichever you prefer, pick the best for you and get moving.
For those of you who rely on biking for exercise, make sure to head to a stationary bike at the gym to avoid windburn from that crisp November air. The ride in front of the TV screen may not be as scenic as cruising down the lake, but the workout will be just as effective if done right. Before you throw yourself on the bike make sure to adjust the seat for your height. If not adjusted properly the seat will keep you from walking normally days afterward. If you get bored, plug in your iPod or bring headphones to watch ESPN for added motivation.
When transitioning to indoor workouts, make sure not to push yourself too hard at the gym at the beginning of the season. If you go there with the mindset of having to run a certain length of time or burn a certain amount of calories, you’ll dread every second of it. Outside, nature serves as a distraction and makes time go by faster. When exercising inside you may catch yourself looking down at the timer on your machine every minute. If this happens, take a towl and cover up the monitor so you can’t read the numbers.
Also, don’t get down on yourself if you can’t make it to the gym every day. We all deserve a break every once in a while. If you’re clenched for time, try to shoot for at least 30 minutes of cardio every other day. According to Liverstrong.com, it doesn’t matter what type of cardio you do, but rather how much. By averaging around 150 minutes of cardio a week you can lower your risk of death by 20 to 25 percent.
Most importantly, don’t forget to make your workouts fun. You may come to love the treadmill, but it will get boring after a while. Switch up the machines, location, and atmosphere every time you go by working out with a friend, attending one of the free Friday spin classes, or by joining an intramural sports team. If you constantly switch up your workout it won’t feel like such a chore.