Monday, January 18, 2010
5 Questions: How To Stay Fit In Bad Weather
Here in Los Angeles we have nothing but rain in the forecast for this week. We're talking actual big drops and more than an inch or two, not the usual SoCal sprinkles. The forecast and my blogger bud Mike of Ruthless Golf inspired me to write today's 5 questions. My fitness goals are centered around surfing and golf so my questions will be heavy in those sports. Also, like my bud Mike, I must caution you before you follow my fitness advice since I'm not a physician, etc.
1. It's pouring rain, can I still go surfing?
Safely surfing in the rain depends on many factors. For some breaks this is a normal practice. For others, you're asking for trouble. Check Heal The Bay for water quality reports on the California coastline. Storm drain runoff can cause some icky situations in the water so check your area before you get in. More importantly, it's vital to stay out of the water if the waves are beyond your ability. Our forecast is for a monumental swell on Wednesday which probably also means nasty rip currents. Every time this happens someone gets hurt or killed, unfortunately. Check the forecasts, know your limitations, and stay safe.
2. Where can I golf in the rain?
There are actually places around L.A. that you can practice and play. Some ranges have covered stalls and do stay open in the rain but you should definitely call ahead before you drive out. We have an awesome indoor facility here that's a blast to go to as well.
3. What could I reasonably do outside in the rain for exercise?
Now, I am only speaking for SoCal but there are concrete trails along the coastline that are perfectly acceptable for jogging, running, or even brisk walking. Hiking in the hills is definitely not advisable since they'll be quite muddy and there is always the possibility of a landslide. If you can hang with it and have the right gear, I see the dedicated runners out all the time no matter the weather. I do know from first-hand experience that this is also possible in Hawaii and Florida. I can't speak for rainy days in any other part of the country. I can say that when it snows here the mountains are full of skiers and boarders - like I am sure they will be this weekend!
Although I do have a silly video of "surfing" today I really can't condone that behavior. Not that I wouldn't or haven't tried silly things like that but be responsible and be safe - not a bonehead like me.
4. How do you stay in surfing shape in bad weather?
In addition to keeping up with cardio, I've been doing upper body and core exercises. One of my latest additions to my routine is doing the paddling motion with my arms while holding a light weight in each hand. I'll mix that up with doing a side to side motion where I lean to each side with the weights in my hand and also a turning to each side motion. I do each of these for a count of 40 before changing to one of the others for a total of about 15-20 minutes.
5. How do you stay in golfing shape in bad weather?
Don't laugh because I said "golfing shape". One of my fitness goals is to increase my driving distance. The cardio and reps that I describe above certainly help with this as well as practicing my swing in the house. I usually use an extra shaft without a clubhead on it that or a smaller stick, each with plenty of room around me so that I don't break anything. In addition, bicep and tricep work is usually on the menu. When the weather is bad I tend to do a lot more cardio also since I get cabin fever in a matter of hours and have to burn up the energy I get from freaking out because there is no sun.
What do you do when the weather is bad to stay fit?