Spring is a time of rebirth – so toss the winter blues and change up your diet and fitness routines now!
Whether you live in San Diego – where it’s practically 72-degrees year round, or Fargo – where you’re never really without your “just in case” jacket, springtime delivers warmer temperatures, more abundant sunshine, and the instinctual sense that spending more time outside is a good thing. This is the time of year when many of us enter “spring cleaning” mode – ridding our homes of the superfluous items that have accumulated over the past year and that no longer serve a purpose. Sometimes we throw things away or donate items that we don’t need, and other times we part ways with items just to feel a sense of renewal. Just like your cupboards and closets, it often pays to change up your diet and fitness routines – to introduce new ideas and to part ways with the habits that don’t contribute to healthy living.
Spring Fitness Tips
Here are 7 spring fitness tips you can use to “spring clean” your diet and fitness routines. Get started with these diet specific health fitness tips that will help you make the most out of the upcoming warmer months:
- “Clean out” your pantry – then clean out the junk food! While wiping down the shelves and applying new contact paper will provide a sparkling clean surface on which to store your wares, you’ll also want to get rid of any of the low-quality foods you may have. Sometimes it can be tricky to determine what constitutes low-quality when products can often contain preservatives or perhaps both natural and artificial ingredients. When identifying foods of lower quality to support your spring fitness efforts, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, it is important to pay attention to items such as snack foods which include ingredients which are highly processed, beverages that have been sweetened with excess sugar, “refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods such as potatoes.” Results from a large-scale study over the course of 20 years involving over 120,000 healthy women and men spanning determined that changes in weight were highly correlated with consumption of low-quality foods such as “potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, and both processed and unprocessed red meats.” Additionally, the researchers who conducted the study concluded that foods high in starch, fats, sugar and refined grains played a significant role in weight gain among study participants. Instead of simply dumping your spring fitness throwaway items, consider donating those sugary, salty, or high calorie snacks to local shelters or food drives. Springtime follows months that often revolve around food (Christmas, Valentine’s Day…), so don’t feel bad about removing foods that won’t support your weight loss diet and fitness goals.
- “Clean out” your supply of plastic water bottles – and switch to high quality stainless steel versions. Certainly get rid of any plastic water bottles that contain harmful BPA’s, but you might find that switching to stainless is a no-brainer once you realize the durability and safety afforded by these bottles. And, you’ll benefit from consuming at least 64-ounces of water per day anyway! When looking for alternative drinking bottles to complement your spring fitness efforts look for products that are labeled as BPA-free. It is important to that note that some plastics that carry recycle codes 3 or 7 may still contain BPA. It is also helpful to reduce consumption of canned foods, since a large majority of cans are lined with BPA-containing resin. Great alternatives to BPA plastics include glass and stainless steel containers.
- Visit the Farmer’s Market – with growing season in full force in many areas, stock up on fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables that help supplement a healthy diet. The Farmer’s Market offers a diverse array of healthy and delicious options that not only help kick your spring fitness into high gear but also supports your local farmers. That means a win-win for healthy living and buying smart! In fact taking a brisk walk around the Farmer’s Market in the fresh air as you shop is a great way to get in some exercise.
If you’re ready to spring clean your fitness routine here are some quick tips to help you:
- Get new workout clothes! Something as simple as switching out your tired, worn workout clothes for great-looking new ones will put you in a different mental state. Feel free to use the full spectrum of the color palette to help get you in the “springtime” mood.
- Mix up your playlist – So many of us listen to portable music devices while we work out, so it makes sense to change up or create new playlists to keep your workouts fresh and motivating. Share songs with friends, try new artists that you want to get more familiar with – anything to keep it fun.
- Buy new shoes! Whether you’re running, playing an organized sport, or doing weight training, you’ll want to wear shoes that are comfortable, matched to the activity that you’re doing, and fit appropriately. Visit a shoe store with knowledgeable employees who know how to fit shoes.
- Try a new sport! While many of us define exercise as running around the neighborhood or swimming laps in the community pool, try to learn a new sport! Tennis is a great workout – and lots of fun! Maybe you live near an ocean or lake and want to try standup paddle-boarding – whatever sounds like fun will probably keep you engaged in your workout longer than toiling away on a treadmill.
Spring cleaning means more than sorting the junk in your garage and dusting off the window blinds – it means approaching the blossoming months of spring with a newfound enthusiasm for health and fitness. By following some of the spring fitness tips outlined above, you’ll feel great, improve your health, and move yourself one step closer to your health and fitness goals.