Spring is a time of change, with longer days and daylight savings time; there are more opportunities to be outside. Whether you plan to spend time manicuring your yard, preparing your garden, dusting off your walking shoes, or airing up your bicycle tires, it is time to shake off the winter blahs. Spring has officially sprung.
RESTART your exercise engine
Wanting to increase your activity is good. Ease, don’t race, back into your routine. Starting out with a nice walking pace in order to build up to a short jog is a great beginning. Just taking a nightly cruise on your bike around the neighborhood after dinner is a nice way to cap off the evening. As the old adage goes: Slow and steady wins the race, so remember to start out slow in order to stay the course.
RECLAIM your motivation
Medical literature abounds with reports that exercise has a positive impact on your attitude, health and weight, and gives you more energy. What are your goals? Perhaps you are ready to part ways with those extra pounds you have acquired during your less active months, or you want to improve your flexibility to help you endure the rigors of your daily routine. Maybe you want some relief from the stress in your life, a way to meet new friends or just to put some fun back in your life. A group activity, such as training for a 5K, can help connect you with like-minded people.
REESTABLISH a routine
Once you have selected an activity that brings you joy, congratulate yourself. Now comes the hard part-actually following through. Whatever you do, try to commit to doing it four to five times each week. Think of your exercise routine as a standing health and wellness appointment with yourself. If finding time is the biggest challenge, and if you can’t find one hour of uninterrupted time each day to exercise, break it up into chunks through the day–two half-hour sessions, or three 20-minute mini activities. There are plenty of exercises on the internet that allow you to sit at your computer and exercise from your desk. The minutes add up, and the benefits are just as good.
REMEMBER to keep things interesting
Mixing it up keeps you motivated, and it’s important to track your progress. Whether with a check mark on your calendar or a detailed log in a journal or laptop, tracking also keeps you on target. This also works well in conjunction with a healthy eating plan. My Fitness Pal is a great resource to keep track of your diet and exercise. The important thing is to find something that you feel excited about and will keep you engaged in the activity. Walking, jogging or biking is much more than just exercise–think of all the places and people you can see along your journey.
Now that spring has sprung, it is time to plant the seed of change by tending to your body lovingly and patiently and enjoy watching yourself blossom!