rAfter the holidays, especially if it’s your off-season, it can be hard to start working out again. But it’s time to get ready for spring training. Keeping up with cardiovascular training can give you the extra edge when it’s time to go back on the court with your team. The following tips may help you get motivated.
Make the most of indoor environments
Cold weather may keep you inside, but don’t let it keep you from working out. Find a gym close to your home or work so you can start working on your cardio. Many gyms have multiple basketball courts, so grab a few teammates and play some 3-on-3. Don’t forget to practice some drills so you aren’t behind when practices start again in the spring. If you’re solo at the gym, jump on a treadmill and run a few miles to get moving. You can also get great exercise by running up stairs. If you work in a multi-story building, you can squeeze in a challenging cardio workout on your lunch break. If this doesn’t sound like your kind of exercise, try to work a 20-minute walk into your day. The important thing is to get up and move around to raise your heart rate.
An affordable alternative
If your monthly budget doesn’t allow for a gym memberships — or you’d simply prefer not to work out with strangers—there’s plenty you can do at home to get back in shape. If you’ve got an open space with a high ceiling, do jumping jacks or jump rope to get your heart rate up. Other high-intensity exercises, like burpees, mountain climbers or step aerobics are great choices if you need a rigorous workout but don’t have a lot of spare time. You can combine any of these exercises with bodyweight squats, pushups and lunges to create a fast-paced cardio circuit. Whatever gets you moving, even if it's only 10 minutes a day to start, is better than nothing.
When that one 40- or 50- degree day comes around in the middle of February, take advantage of it! Get outside and get moving. Take a run around a trail at a local park or find an outdoor court to practice your free throws and do some drills. If you need a real challenge, find a hill and do hill sprints. This great incline workout can prepare you for spring training even better than any machine. Think of the outdoors as one enormous free gym—after all, mankind managed to be in shape for thousands of years before the first treadmill ever appeared.
Get new gear
To motivate yourself for the spring, buy new workout wear or running shoes. You may even need some new shoes and not realize it. Try on a new pair of the same type of shoe you currently wear and you’ll be able to feel whether or not you need them. With a new pair of kicks, you’ll be itching to get back in the gym and break them in.
Grab a buddy
If you are having trouble getting motivated, find a partner to keep you accountable. The two of you can work out at the same time for a little competition or meet and talk about how your training is going. Having someone to report to makes all the difference in the world and can be that motivation you need to get back in the gym.
Staying in shape after the holidays isn't easy. It’s much more tempting to stay on the couch. However, being creative with your workouts and trying new exercises might be all it takes to you get in gear and ready for some serious spring training.