Ready to break away from the treadmill? Spring is a season of renewal, and what better place to apply all of that new energy and positivity than into your healthy lifestyle and fitness routine?
Step away from the scale
As summer (aka bathing suit season) approaches it can be tempting to fixate on the numbers. Instead of designing goals based purely on weight loss, measure success by monitoring energy levels, strength, and emotional happiness. Counting calories can be depressing, so if a craving sets in, keep some healthy yet satisfying options on hand. Thinking in terms of portion size is smart, too.
Schedule a physical
While close to 92% of Americans think it’s important to get an annual physical, only a little over half actually do. Are you one of them? While you might look and feel just fine, it's important to keep tabs on things like blood pressure, cholesterol, and vitamin deficiencies if you want to optimize your workout routine.
Like most of us you’ve probably been meaning to spend more time with friends and family. Why not make it a walk and talk? Or, step it up and join a group fitness class. Or both! Studies show that working out with friends is a great way to stay motivated and build community while you sweat. Win win!
Pump up your playlist
Running to music has been shown to increase performance by 15%, but when your list gets stale it can actually have a negative effect. Use your workout playlist as an excuse to discover new music, hone in on your perfect BPMs, and filter in some old favorites. Born to Run? Every time.
Sign up for a race
5k, 10k, half or full, there are hundreds of ways to commit. Not a runner? Grab some friends and enter a relay triathlon or even a distance cycling event. Committing your training regimen to a specific goal is a great way to stay motivated. Plus, most community race events benefit great local and national charities, so you’ll be doing good by your health while giving back.
Re-up your footwear
Mileage guidelines for running shoes can be tricky, but usually fall within the 250-500 mile range. But, that doesn’t factor in gate, weight, or running conditions. Some runners even switch out their trainers throughout the week, depending on length of workout and terrain. Whatever your take on replacing footwear, be sure to tune into your body. Experiencing joint pain, arch issues, or blisters? It might be time to refresh your footwear.
Take it outside
Working out outside has a 50% greater positive effect on mental health than just going to the gym. Fifty percent! Outdoor exercise is linked to stress reduction, a decrease in feelings of tension and anger, and fewer symptoms of depression. Is it more comfortable to hop on the elliptical and plug into your favorite daytime TV show? It can be, but aren’t we already connected to some device most of the day?
Find your inner athlete
Let’s play! Fitness is a lot more than just charging out miles. In fact, play is a huge factor in aging healthfully and happily. Maybe it’s pickup basketball, ultimate frisbee, racquetball, dance, kickball, or even rugby, there are leagues and opportunities to play everywhere. What differentiates play from other forms of exercise? Adult play is linked to improved problem solving, stronger communities, and even decreased stress and inflammation, as well as improved vascular health. Tennis, anyone?
Eat to move
We can’t optimize fitness without optimizing food, and spring is a great time to make sure you’re eating clean. Clean protein is a huge factor in energy levels, weight management, and muscle recovery. Consider adding a clean protein smoothie to your morning routine, preparing your body for a day of activity. This Turmeric Mango Protein Smoothie has 21g of clean plant based protein, 7g of fiber, and the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and cinnamon.
Feel like we’re asking a lot of you? Wondering how you’re going to fit all of this into one day AND get a good night’s sleep? Studies show that we are spending 4 hours every day day on our phones, and that doesn’t include time talking or listening to podcasts and music. That’s straight screen time. What could you do with just half of that? Prioritize sleep. Sleep is a crucial component to maintaining a healthy weight and emotional state, plus this restorative process has been shown to curb inflammation, improve memory, and increase longevity. Putting down the phone and picking up a book before bed is sounding better and better.