Coming out of a long winter makes many people feel sluggish and unsure of where to start where fitness is concerned, and it can be difficult to make a plan to get in shape if your self-esteem needs a boost. It’s important to think outside the box when spring rolls around and get creative with your workouts; this way, you won’t get bored and there’s a much better chance you’ll be able to stay motivated.
Start by planning out some goals. Are you ready to lose a little weight, or just tone up? Would you like to gain strength at the same time? Take a look at your physical needs as well as your emotional needs, because exercise can be wonderful for those battling depression, substance abuse, or anxiety.
Here are some of the best ways to get in shape when the last of the cold weather has taken a hike.
Get help from your pets
Dogs can be great motivators for exercise, so include yours in your daily workout as much as possible. Go for a run at the park, take an extra-long walk after dinner, or, if you’re lucky enough to live near the beach, go for a swim (as long as pets are allowed).
If you don’t have a pet, consider getting a part-time job as a dog-walker or boarder. This is a wonderful way to work in exercise, get some companionship, and earn some extra cash all at the same time.
Find a buddy
Working out becomes much more fun when you have a partner, so ask a friend (or two) to join you on daily walks or at the gym for a thirty-minute aerobic blast. Having a friend along will help you stay motivated, and it will make the time go by faster so you don’t get bored.
It can be hard some days to find the energy to get in exercise, especially after a long day at work, but it’s important to stay consistent with your workouts. If it’s raining and you can’t go for a walk, consider heading to the local mall to walk around inside, or create an at-home gym with a yoga mat, a stability ball, a jump rope, and some open space to move in.
Make it fun
Working out can get old if you make it repetitive, so find ways to try something new every couple of days or so. Go for a swim at the local YMCA, or try a new type of exercise, such as yoga, pilates, or working with a barre. If those don’t interest you, move the furniture to create a dance floor, throw on some of your favorite music, and get moving. Dancing is great exercise and it allows you to work several areas of your body at once.
Mark your progress
If you’re feeling a need for a confidence boost, start tracking your progress. You can either download an app that will help you track your weight loss, or you can simply start marking on the calendar how long you worked out for or how many miles you walked each day. Being able to see your hard work will help your motivation on those days when you don’t feel up to exercising.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be a tedious process. With a little planning and some help from your friends, you can make this spring the best one yet.
Guest Written by Jane Moore