The snow has finally melted here in the Northeast and there are subtle hints of spring popping up everywhere. We are soaking in every minute of spring here in New England because we know it won’t last long. This is my favorite time of year to head outside and get fit in the great outdoors. The cool, crisp air makes running, cycling and any other form of outdoor activity so enjoyable.
Here are a few tips to get us back on the fitness track after a long winter and keep it going throughout the year.
- Find a fitness activity or activities that you enjoy. This is by far the most important tip. You’ll be more likely to stick to your goals and routine if you’re doing something that you love. Cycling and running may not be for you, but thankfully there are plenty of options. For example, if you love hiking find a hiking group to join. If you enjoy basketball look for a recreational league in your area. There’s truly something for everyone.
- Establish a fitness routine. Once you’ve selected a few fitness activities that you enjoy, make them part of your weekly routine by setting aside a specific time for your workout at least a few times each week. Add it to your calendar as you would any other appointment. That way you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine.
- Set a realistic goal. Remember as you set your goal that nothing is set in stone. Don’t be afraid-sign up for that race, increase your running distance. Goals can be revised and revisited as your workout routine progresses and your fitness needs change.
- Mix it up. Mix up your fitness routine so you don’t end up in a rut. Spring is the perfect time to head outside for a brisk walk or a run. Try to find a balance between cardio and weight training. Stay engaged in the activities you select and love what you do.
- Accountability works. Use a buddy system when you’re working out. Find a friend with similar interests and make a plan. You’re more likely to show up if someone’s waiting for you. Provide encouragement to each other and offer support when needed.
- Kick off your workout with good food. The ideal pre-exercise meal should include foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein and low in fat and fiber. It’s also important to drink water a few hours before exercising and throughout your workout. One of my favorite foods to eat pre-workout is a Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt. One container of Greek yogurt is about 24% of your daily protein, making it a rich source for good health. Protein is vital to cell growth, building muscle, and repairing tissue. A perfect pre-workout food.