Stay fit for outdoor activities by sticking to the gym

People tend to drop their fitness indoors when the weather starts to warm up and come back indoors when it cools down.

It’s an understandable migration, especially in the Midwest, but that doesn’t necessarily mean completely ignoring the charms of an indoor workout.

Jill Fries, Sanford Wellness Group Fitness Supervisor, loves the outdoors, but wants to remind everyone that there’s still a lot going on during the summer at wellness resorts. Additionally, there are many opportunities to combine indoor and outdoor activities that can improve the quality of life.

“When the weather is nice outside, we want to get outside,” said Fries, a former University of South Dakota volleyball player who is a certified yoga instructor. “But sometimes we don’t think about maintaining our physical condition throughout the summer. We just want to jump straight into different activities. Maybe we feel an adjustment here or there. If we can keep coming here and training, working different body groups, it will help us in our outdoor activities.

What are the summer activities that are really not appreciated in winter? Gardening, fishing, cycling, golf, the list goes on.

“If we are proactive about it and attend a group fitness class, we could work each of these different body groups,” Fries said. “It can allow us to be stronger and have the flexibility to really enjoy all aspects of outdoor fitness and all the other fun things we do outside.”

Fitness with friends

The fries and the wellness center staff have a lot to offer. Flexibility, in this case, goes far beyond loosening the hamstrings. This also applies to the number of group sessions and the variety of activities. Between the 49e and Oxbow and Tea-Ellis, there are more than 100 weekly classes, including seven that end at 7 a.m.

“We encourage people to go online, look at our schedule, and match it to what’s best for their world,” Fries said. “Maybe it’s a 45 minute class over lunch or maybe it’s a start to the day.”

Fitness classes vary from indoor cycling to strength-focused options, dance cardio, and yoga. The added bonus is the company you keep. Exercise can be more fun with other people involved.

“We have all these different systems — our circulatory system, our nervous system, our respiratory system — that we physically focus on,” Fries said. “But by getting into a large group or even a smaller group where people get to know each other more, it helps us with our own brain health. Maybe it’s just a routine where you meet two or three friends and enjoy working out. You can enjoy the physical aspect, but you also gain that mental health aspect.

Not stuck inside

Wellness centers will also go outdoors for some classes occasionally during the summer when the weather is nice and the activity doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Yoga, for example, can be a popular outdoor workout.

“We have nice grassy areas that we use outdoors,” Fries said. “We also partner with entities like the City of Sioux Falls to do yoga in the park. Our members have the opportunity to connect with the same people they normally would, but in a different setting.

Ultimately, wellness centers offer variety. Everyone approaches fitness challenges a little differently. The staff in place understood this.

“I’ve heard from different members that they appreciate everything we have,” Fries said. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop where they can come in and do their group fitness. They can use the pool or any of the other amenities we have. They appreciate having everything under one roof.

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Posted in Healthy Living, Orthopedics, Sioux Falls, Sports Medicine