Tips: Spring Forward into Fitness

Spring Forward into Fitness

It’s Daylight Savings Time, so it won’t be long before spring’s sunshine and warmth beckons us out of the gym into the great outdoors. Whether warmer weather revs up your workout or inspires you to start to a new exercise program, these tips will set you up for success:

  • Schedule a Physical: If you've been less active for a while, see your doctor before you start any new exercise program.
  • Set Incremental Goals: You move toward what you focus on. Know where you want to be in one month, in six weeks, in three months, and so forth. If working out five days a week seems overwhelming, commit to three. When that’s part of your routine, plan on adding one day and then   If you’re a runner (or want to be) start slowly and gradually build up your endurance, block by block until your target is achieved. If stepping on the scale de-motivates you, consider setting a goal of dropping a jeans size instead of a weight-based persuit.
  • Avoid Injuries: If you haven't been working out lately, don't over commit. Depending on how inactive you were over the winter, it could take as long as six weeks to build a solid base for fitness.  Try cross training to reduce the stress on one specific set of muscles.  If you think you’re over doing it, watch for these five Remember to warm up and stretch before any physical activity, even gardening or sprinting with the dog.
  • Make Fitness Fun: If you choose something you enjoy, you’ll make time for it. Consider joining a running club to add a social element to your exercise experience. Not up for running? Find a fitness class, jump rope, download a fitness video or play softball.  Clean Out the Pantry and Hit the Farmer’s Market: Throw away foods low in nutritional value, like chips, sugary cereals and white bread. Soak up some of that spring sunshine while you shop for fresh fruits and veggies at the local farmer’s market.
  • Tweet About It: Get vocal about your fitness routine and goals and make friends with other people looking to get motivated. Give updates on your progress, post links to your favorite fitness articles and products and cheer on others.
  • Spring Clean your Exercise Routine: Health Magazine gives advice on renewing fitness gear and the attitudes that are no longer working for us. For example, it’s time to ditch the old sneakers and invest in a new pair of athletic shoes. Write the purchase date on the tongue. If you walk or run 10 miles per week, replace your shoes every 12 months; 15 miles, every 8 months; 20 miles, every 6 months; 30 miles, every 4 months.

    Spring is the time for renewal. Embrace the warm, sun-filled days and connect with your own sense of purpose. Before you know it, you’ll be fabulous, fit and healthy! And while as Dr. Goesel Anson (hot link) always reminds us, whatever you do, don’t forget your sun hat and sunblock!)