As the cold weather subsides, and we spring forward with daylight savings time, our bodies and minds can definitely feel primed and ready to get a jumpstart on our fitness goals. Longer days and warmer temps can mean more opportunity to spring forward into a more active lifestyle. Yet even those longer days don’t always guarantee the time necessary to start new healthy habits. Between work, family, friends, travel and getting some sort of rest amidst it all, how does one fit in fitness? It’s time to find solutions, not excuses! And to help you do just that, here are 10 spring fresh tips to MAKE FIT HAPPEN for you!
1. Be NEAT. Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, that is. Wash dishes by hand instead of loading the dish washer. Wash your car, rather than running it through the local car wash. Mow your lawn with a push mower instead of riding on one. Mop the floor by hand. These little NEAT things add up to daily workouts without even hitting the gym, and bring you more satisfaction of having sparkling clean dishes, because let’s face it – dishes are simply cleaner when you wash them by hand.
2. Join the Club. Whatever active-type club that you would enjoy. A running club. A square dance club. A tennis club. Belonging to something with like-minded individuals can be a great way to find accountability to show up and participate. Accountability and expected participation can be exceptional motivation.
3. Want a FREE Personal Trainer? Ask a kid! A great way to interact and play with your kids is to let them boss you around for a change. Ask your child to play a game such as “Simon Says” where they get to be Simon and tell you moves to do. This is great way to get both yourself and your kids to move more. Commit to try to do whatever they request and don’t forget to thank them when your workout is over!
4. YouTube It! Not sure what kind of exercise you might like? Try them all. YouTube literally holds hundreds of thousands of every type of workout imaginable. Each day for a week, type in some kind of a workout you would like to try in the search engine. “10 minute Pilates”, “beginner kick boxing”, “walking in place”, “20 minute ab workout”, “restorative natural movement”, “belly dancing for beginners”, “Workout with your toddler”. You will be amazed at the plethora of free workouts that are literally at your fingertips.
5. Take a Hike. Hiking and what’s known as “Forest bathing” is a great way to enhance your motivation and set your own pace when it comes to exercise. Negative Ions and essential oils emitting from surrounding trees are elemental when it comes to healing motivation centers in the brain, and calming anxiety and tension. You can stop and rest as needed. You can go as long or as little as you like. You can share the experience/workout with a friend or partner. And almost every city in the world as some form of local hiking trails that are easy and accessible. Check out alltrails.com to find one near you!
6. Put on Some Weight. As in, a weighted vest! Adding weight to your body through a weighted vest can be a great way to make your everyday activities more strenuous, producing more of an on-going resistance training as you move through all your to-dos. Research shows that a vest that is equivalent to 15% of your own bodyweight can increase calorie burning by 12%.
7. Try a Tabata! Tabata’s are short intervals of one move of your choice, done for 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest and completing 8 rounds total. In as little as 4 minutes, you can exhaust a muscle and complete your workout for the day. Invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata for Olympic athletes to train with, these workouts may be short, but they are powerful and effective.
8. Get Down and Get Dirty. Spring means the chance for you ‘green thumbs’ out there to get your hands dirty and get fit too! Gardening can actually burn anywhere from 250-500 calories in an hour. Landscaping, hauling rocks, yard work – the more you do, not only does your yard look better but so will you!
9. Track Your Fitness. And let others track you too! Apps like Strava and My Fitness Pal will allow you to find your fit friends and let them see what you are up to daily. This accountability will keep you motivated to move as well as enlist those pals to perhaps even meet up with you for a workout!
10. Save the Date! The date for an upcoming 5k, 10k, bike race, a charity sporting event, a kayak trip with friends. Whatever your active lifestyle love, having a date in the future to train towards will guarantee that you will make time to stay active and get prepared.
Getting back into a fitness mode, after the long winter hibernation isn’t easy. However, by simply committing to starting slow and implementing what you can, you can spring into shape in no time. So, how will you make FIT happen this spring!?
Jodelle Fitzwater is a Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner & Professional Stand Up Paddle-board Athlete with 20 years experience in the health and wellness industry. She offers Nutrition & Lifestyle Consulting worldwide, and stand up paddle lessons on Table Rock Lake. Jodelle is an avid podcaster on Youtube and iTunes, and has been featured in many local and and international health, wellness, and paddling publications.