Winter typically means a bit too much hunkering down with Netflix, too many sneaky calories and a lot of easy weather excuses for not getting to the gym. But it’s April, it’s spring and time to check in with your fitness plans. Whether you stalled out New Year’s fitness resolutions weeks ago, feel your workouts are getting stale, or you’ve been meaning to try something new, here are some quick steps to freshen up your fitness routine and re-energize your workouts.
Gear Up to Get Motivated
New joggers, a breathable workout top or any new fitness gear can get you feeling (and looking) the part again after sluggish winter months. But assessing your gear every few months is important especially when it comes to shoes. If you’re a runner, after 300-500 miles on the treadmill or the street’s it’s time to replace and protect your feet. Training shoes for the gym also lose their shock absorption capacity after five to six months of active use – depending of course whether you’re pounding the studio floor or not. Keep an eye on things to stay comfortable – and feeling good.
Fresh Air for a Vitamin and Energy Boost
When winter’s done, ditch the cabin fever too. The sun is our best source of Vitamin D which helps keep bones strong, protects against osteoporosis, supports the immune system and provides energy – which all sound very timely. Try to get outside at least once a day for some fresh air and a natural mood and health boost. You can reap the benefits in as little as 15 minutes for a person with lighter skin tone to two hours for darker complexions. Just be sure to wear UPF sunscreen on really hot days to protect you from burns and while you’re outside keep workouts fun: do an outdoor obstacle course, interval sprints in the park, or find a running pal to keep you going.
Try a New Class or Workout to Re-energize
Even if you’re ready for something new this spring, change can be tough. We feel comfortable with the classes and workouts we know. But cross training – bringing in a new activity, class or workout, can have benefits to your health and fitness program too. Do your favorite HIIT class one day to sweat out some calories, but try core or muscle toning workouts the next. Varying exercise day to day is excellent active recovery: allowing fatigued muscles from yesterday repair while you work on others. If you’re daunted by signing up for a new instructor class at the gym, using FLEX by FitnessOnDemand or another streaming product can allow you to “try before you buy” – or in other words, get a little skill in a class under your belt at home before diving in at the gym.
Freshen the Fridge Too
Exercise and diet are two sides of the same coin when it comes to maintaining healthy habits and bodyweight. As you review and adjust your workout plan, take a look in the fridge too. Get rid of the processed items and high sugar comfort food that we all crave in winter. As a rule for healthy eating 55 percent of your daily calories should come from carbs (including grains, fruits and veggies), 25 percent from protein and another 25 percent from unsaturated, good fats. So make sure you have a balanced selection of salad, vegetables, grains and pre-prepared protein on hand whenever you’re hungry. Focusing on healthy, nutritious food will give you the fuel you need to get to the gym regularly or stay on track with your streaming workout in the family room if a spring shower does fall.