Now that the long awaited spring has finally arrived, here are some tips that will help you bounce back from winter with a healthier lifestyle.
Winter can be a difficult time to get through for many people; between the dreary weather and the extreme cold in a lot of areas, it can be hard to find motivation to get up and work out, leaving us feeling tired, irritable, and unhealthy. When spring comes, many of us feel the need to get outside as much as possible to make up for all those months stuck indoors, and it’s a great time to start a new exercise and fitness routine. Being active can help boost mood and energy levels, assist in chronic pain and joint problems, and can even help those battling depression or substance abuse.
Sit down and work out your goals first. Do you want to lose a little weight, tone up, or simply gain some strength and endurance? Do you have any health issues that need to be addressed first? Think about what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get it done. The best way to start a new regimen is to make it fun so you’ll want to keep doing it.
Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Get the family involved
Exercise is much more fun when you’re not alone, so ask your family or friends to join you. Consider starting a workout group that meets a few times a week at a local park, where you can walk the trails together and catch up with one another. Start a family game night that will allow you to get outside, play some kickball or softball, and have a blast when the weather is nice.
Make weekends active
After a long week at work, you might be daydreaming about relaxing on the weekend. However, weekends are the best time to get outside with your family and make memories. Spring is the perfect time for flying kites, so pick up a couple and go to a local park, where you have plenty of room to run around and get them up in the air. Gather bikes and skates or scooters and have a roller derby in the neighborhood, where everyone can participate in racing or performing tricks. End the evening with a healthy smoothie treat for each participant.
Change your diet
It’s never easy to make big changes to the way you and your family eat, so start small. Buy whole wheat bread and pasta; trade out lettuce for spinach or kale; up your water intake and cut back on sugary juices and soda. If your family eats out a lot–or stops for fast food several times a week–create a goal to cook healthy meals as often as possible. You can shop for ingredients and pre-make several meals at once, freeze them, and pull one out to throw in the oven on those busy evenings after work and ferrying the kids around.
Take a look at how long you sit during the day. If you have an office job, it may be time to start thinking about ways to get active as much as possible. Take a brisk walk around the block a few times on your lunch break, or run up and down the stairs in your office building. Stand up and stretch often if you sit at a desk all day, or–if you have the room to yourself–bring in a yoga mat and get in some poses on your breaks.
Making changes to your lifestyle can be a little overwhelming at first, so it’s important to take it slow and be easy on yourself. Learning new ways to be healthy takes time and patience, but with a little planning and preparation, you and your family can get active and stay that way.
About the Author:
Helen Carter co-created Selfexam.org after her friend’s sister received a cancer diagnosis at a very young age. Her aim is to offer support to those battling cancer as well as spread awareness on how to prevent this.
More great reading by Helen Carter: 5 Tips for Staying Active in Winterr
Photo via Pixabay by Skeeze