Spring is in the air – or certainly will be soon for those who live in colder locales. With the flip of the seasonal switch often comes the interest to get outside, get moving, and get in shape. If you’re ready to come out of your fitness hibernation or if you’re looking for ways to spring clean your fitness routine, check out the following ideas for inspiration to get in the spring swing of things!
1. Nourish your body with plant-based whole foods.
Add more plant-based, unprocessed food to your diet to give your body the wholesome fuel it needs to help you meet your fitness and wellness goals. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tempeh, lentils, and beans are all examples of simple, clean foods that give you the protein, vitamins, and minerals needed to treat your body well. Learn more about spring cleaning your diet here and here.
2. Make fitness fun.
Ask a buddy to talk walks with you around your office building each day. Check out that new park in town and mix up your workout with some sightseeing. Join a step challenge on FitBit (you can download the app for free and use it to track steps or join challenges and communities without buying the fitness tracker). Get creative in the kitchen by trying new veggies or new combinations of food. If you make your fitness journey enjoyable, you’re more likely to stick with it.
3. Get active every day.
It’s easy to say “I don’t have time to work out today,” but it can also be easy to find a physical activity you love and focus on it for just a few moments each day. Like to take a break and get outside during the workday? Take a quick stroll around the building. Want to try some exercises with weights without joining a gym? Try an at-home workout with water jugs. The idea is to get your body moving on a consistent basis and learn to get into the routine of making fitness a priority.
4. Set achievable goals.
Whether you’re getting back into fitness after this winter or you’re new to fitness, it’s important to pace yourself. If you like to walk/jog/run, start off this spring with a 20 minute walk every other day. Increase it each week by 5-10 minutes and/or gradually increase your speed. If you like to include weights in your training, start off with low weights/high reps and gradually increase the weight each week. If you want to join a gym but aren’t sure you’re ready to commit to it, establish a workout routine at home and add new exercises each week.
5. Learn to say no.
Your coworker may come in with donuts for the team while you’re working hard to establish new, healthier habits. Your significant other may suggest going out to that one restaurant with that one menu item you love the most when you’ve already prepped your meals. Your best friend may text you to see if you’d like for her to pick you up your favorite latte topped with chocolate and whipped cream. While it’s certainly acceptable to treat yourself now and then, your fitness goals may involve you saying no to frequent indulgences. Discipline and willpower will go a long way in helping you realize your goals both with food and with fitness level.
This activity of lengthening your muscles gives your body time to warm up and decreases your risk of soreness as well as injury. It also promotes flexibility, which is important to your overall fitness performance. Start by holding stretches for 15 seconds and gradually increase to at least 30 seconds per move. Breathe freely with each stretch, and be sure to incorporate stretching in the beginning and in the end of your workouts.
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