Opinion Column

A change of seasons

By Donna Cotnam, Daily Observer

We have been so very fortunate this fall to have such great weather. It kind of makes it hard to think about winter.

The cold weather is coming for sure and now is the perfect time to make the transition.

Most people with pools have put them to bed, the lines are drained and winter covers are on.

Cottages are next. Maybe you do one last family thing this weekend and then close it up next weekend. Don’t bother with the leaves yet, they aren’t all down. Besides it will give you a few extra weeks to get your raking muscles in shape.

If you have hockey players or skaters in your house then that equipment is most likely out. But what about the skiers, boarders, snowshoers and snow machiners? This is the perfect time to avoid the rush and get your equipment tuned up. It’s also a good time to see if anyone has grown since last winter and get a jump on new/used equipment. Take the time to tighten up the bindings, wax and sharpen the edges or replace the broken strap from last winter. If you want to be the first down the slope or on the trail, then be ready. I know nothing about snow machines, but I’m sure you need to check the spark plugs, oil and gas, oh and where is your helmet?

Once you have all your winter sports equipment ready then take the time to pack away all your summer toys. Be sure to check everything. Make sure all the clubs have been cleaned, the bikes are greased and ready for the shed, the skateboard wheels are tightened and the flat tennis bals are gone and the good ones are in the can! If there was something wrong with any equipment this summer deal with it now so you will be ready to go in the spring.

Now that you have the summer equipment packed away nicely and the winter toys ready to go, what about you? Your winter sports and activities may require you to use your muscles in a whole new way. Is your body ready for it? Give some thought to the activities you do in the winter. What muscles will you be calling on to be strong for you? I will go out on a limb and say that no matter what your activity of choice is, you need strong core muscles.

Spend a little extra time in strengthening your back and abdominal muscles. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You don’t need to spend hours at it either. Sometimes less is more. Performing one exercise properly for five repetitions is better than doing 20 reps incorrectly. If you aren’t sure what

exercises are best for you, than maybe it’s time to consult a fitness professional to provide some expertise. The take away from this week’s column…be winter ready!

If you have specific fitness related question that you would like to see addressed in this column please send an email to fitmom@hotmail.com.