Oro Valley Parks and Recreation promotes healthy lifestyle

It’s October and by the end of the month we all will be inundated with ghouls, ghosts and goblins.  With “The Walking Dead” being one of the most watched shows on television right now, and a plethora of zombie shows and movies to choose from currently in circulation, October would be a great month to start your zombie apocalypse fitness training.  So let’s hit the gym and train like we have to avoid the shambling mound of undead that TV is certainly trying to tell us is happening.

Speed isn’t much of an issue (remember zombies kind of limp along) but stamina is a must.  Since zombies don’t get tired it would be pretty ridiculous if the horde overtakes you because you got too winded.  In any zombie apocalypse it’s not just running forever, it’s running, then resting, followed by more running once they find you.  One of the hottest trends in fitness right now is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which mimics this exactly.  It incorporates hard work, followed by a rest set, followed by more hard work.  Instead of running on a treadmill or trail for a certain distance, try to alternate walking for a bit, then sprinting for a short distance.  This will burn more calories, work on your recovery, and keep you well ahead of those pesky zombies.

Balance is another key ingredient to survival.  In all zombie shows and movies there’s a ton of debris littering the streets and underfoot.  Alternatively you could move through the woods to avoid undead neighbors, but whatever path you take there’ll be uneven terrain you have to navigate and the worst thing you can do with someone (or something) chasing you is fall down.  Fortunately you can work on this with just little adjustments to your daily routine.  Do as much as you can while standing on one leg.  Doing dishes? Make like a flamingo. Talking on the phone? Alternate picking up each leg for a few seconds.  Standing in line? Try a few reps of rolling from your heels to your toes.  All of these will help the small muscles that help with balance and keep you upright and moving.

Everyone knows that zombies can’t climb.  It’s why going vertical is a great escape, but we need to make sure we can pull ourselves up to safety and work on that strength.  Strength training with weights is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies, and is quickly becoming a top recommendation by doctors and health care professionals.  Make sure you are lifting some weights and adding them to your fitness routine.  Putting stress on muscles is a must and don’t just do the “10 set rep”. Test yourself, go up in weight and do fewer, then go down and do more reps.  This type of fluctuation on muscle strain will help firm up your muscles faster and help you during those times of need.

Probably zombie’s biggest weakness is water so swimming is an absolute must during any survival training.  Swimming is a fantastic way to work on your muscles and endurance without the impact and stress on joints that land work-outs inherently bring.  The only way to work on this, is by getting in the water.  Utilize your local pool and add lap swimming to your fitness regimen.  

While the chances for this apocalyptic scenario happening are limited at best, whatever helps get you motivated to a healthier lifestyle is always welcome.  Your Oro Valley Community Center has HIIT classes, weights, balance workshops and even a pool.  Everything you’d need to be the best you can be.

If you can’t get enough Halloween spirit, your Oro Valley Parks and Recreation has you covered.  Starting with a Monster Mash on Oct 14 at Steam pump Ranch, followed by an archery zombie shoot at the Naranja range.  Then our popular Halloween Spooktacular at the Community Center on Oct 27, and you can even dress your dog up in a costume at the annual Doggie Dash ‘n Dawdle Oct 28.  All events are free with registration necessary for some parts of the Doggie Dash.  Enjoy the festivities Oro Valley, while you can…