10 December 2010 0 Comments

Inside Vs. Outside Exercise: What’s Best For Long Term Fitness in West Chester?

In maintaining personal fitness in West Chester, some people get very set in the indoor vs. outdoor exercise camps. Truth be told, there are benefits to each, but for the long haul, perhaps one trumps the other.

outside exerciseIndoor Exercise Vs. Outdoor Exercise

There are definite pros and cons to both indoor and outdoor exercising for fitness in West Chester. Let’s take a look.

Outdoor exercise…

  • Gets you out enjoying nature and helps fill a natural desire
  • Allows you to easily avoid socializing…which may or may not be a good thing
  • Is low cost

However…

  • You are exposed to pollution in high-traffic areas
  • Depending on the area, safety may be an issue
  • Lacks the motivational support of others
  • Presents the possibility of unforeseen obstacles
  • Is unstable and unpredictable

The biggest problem with outdoor exercise is probably the weather. Certain conditions are just plain unsafe and others make it far too easy to excuse away exercising for the day; and sometimes that excuse can be used for weeks or months on end.

This brings us to indoor [gym] exercise, with…

  • Stable environmental conditions that are safe, maintained, and predictable
  • Social opportunities
  • Support and motivation of others
  • Motivation of a bright, conducive atmosphere expressly for the purpose of exercising
  • Less of a feeling of ‘aloneness’
  • Consistent availability
  • Multiple equipment, exercise, and program options in one place

However…

  • Well, it’s not like being outside in the sun
  • May cost more, depending on activities
  • More distracting to do at home (because there’s always life & family getting in the way)

Best Of Both Worlds?

All in all, and especially where the long term is concerned, indoor exercise is just more reliable. For long term fitness success and consistent devotion, you can plan on needing to take it inside some or all of the time.

Does that mean you can’t break from routine every now and then or add an outdoor element when conditions are right? Certainly not, but our focus here really is long term fitness in West Chester.

In It For The Long Haul

Truly sustainable exercise programs present opportunities to diversify your fitness in West Chester routine. That means learning how to effectively plan a routine, get the support you need, and learning to mix things up a bit. Perhaps an additional outside activity is just the thing to do that; to be sure that you can commit to regular fitness performance, best to use indoor facilities as your foundation.

Regardless of where you exercise, how you exercise is of utmost importance. Seek the guidance of a professional trainer, learn what to do (and how) both with him/her and without, and develop a fitness in West Chester plan that works for you.

Premier Personal Training with Dennis Carroll is located in West Chester, PA and serves clients in West Chester, Downingtown and Exton. Every client at Premier receives the individual training needed to successfully reach their goals. All programs come with a 100% money back guarantee, so why not get started today? Don’t hesitate! Sign up for a Free Fitness Program Consult now!

8 April 2009 0 Comments

Extreme fitness found at West Point

Every year the United States Military Academy, located at a high point on the west side of the Hudson river(aka West Point), hosts a competition known as SANCOM.

Of course the military uses acronyms for everything, so allow me to explain. SANCOM is short for the Sandhurst Competition. Sandhurst is England’s version of West point, sans the academic curriculum. It is strictly a military academy.

Each year in April, Sandhurst sends teams of elite soldiers to West Point for the competition. Along with  teams from Canada’s Royal Military Academy, The Naval and Airforce Academies and select ROTC groups from around the country arrive at West Point to partake in the fun.

I have had the great privilige to know some of the participants from the West Point teams and was afforded some insight into the committed level of training it takes to compete in this event.

The event begins at 0600 Saturday. That’s 6 am folks. Since they deploy in teams these conditioned athletes do not know in advance when they are to begin. It could be 6 am or as late as 9 or 10 AM. But they must be ready to go at a moments notice. So if you are called to go at 6, you had better be squared away by 5am.

The competition takes place on a predetermined course that is kept secret until the day of the event. These soldier athletes must negotiate the course using land navigation skills all the while performing amazing tasks. Each task is timed and scored for proficiency.

The competition begins with an inspection of uniformity. All contestants are in full military gear with helmets, canteens and rucksacks. Then it’s time to don the gas-masks and run to the next location(run, not jog). About a mile and a half to two miles later is a boat maneuver. After splashing out of the water, they run to the next location(don’t forget, they have to find the next location). This might be a simulated triage of wounded, then carrying the wounded to aid stations while suppressing enemy fire. Or the hand grenade toss, or building and crossing a rope bridge. Then crawl through a drain culvert with about 5 0r 6 inches of cold mountain water and run up the side of a mountain. Next scale a shear wall of about 15 feet in height(try that with all the above mentioned gear, and oh yeah, did I mention the M-16″s over their shoulders?). Can you say awkward?

Next a long run down the side of a mountain, a few more tasks, one usually includes near full immersion in near freezing water while navigating a course(a combat swim-ugh), and on to the last station, The Commandant’s Challenge.

Set directly in front of the Commandant of West Points’ residence is the final obstacle course, known as The Comm’s Challenge. And it is always different and challenging. The cadets are briefed on what they must do to finish, they huddle up, orders are given by the team leaders, and off they go. Maybe they have to push a truck(loaded with personnel), carry armor plated equipment through a very tricky obstacle course, do 20 pull ups each while wearing  soaking wet clothes and having a M-16 on your back !I repeat, 20 pull ups!  Holy Smokes!

When all is said and done, each team will have faced13 different challenges, navigated as a nine person squad over unknown miles of mountanous terrain, repeatedly being subjected to cold water melting from the mountains tops, subjected to excessive physical AND mental stress. I have personally watched as many of these teams have crossed the finish line, exhausted but smiling.

And I thought I was in shape.  Humbled YES, in shape? No. Not even close when compared to these guys.

This years competition will take place on 04/18/09 on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and is open to the public. Visit www.usma.edu/dml/sandhurst_visitors.htm for more information.