Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

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written by Claire Watson-Irving, NASM

Monday was the first day of spring and thoughts of spring cleaning may be on your mind.

In addition to sprucing up your home for the upcoming warm weather, it might be even more important to take some to time to spruce up your fitness routine and renew your motivation by trying new exercises, breaking out of the old routine and exercising outdoors before it gets too hot!

Here are my top ten tips to spring clean your fitness routine:

1. Reframe exercise as self-care

When you’re busy taking care of everyone else at home or work, exercise is often the first thing to be sacrificed. Think of it as way to improve your ability to cope with the demands of daily life; helping to improve quality of sleep, your ability to manage stress and feel sufficiently energized to deal with life’s daily demands.

2.  Set SMART goals

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If your goals are too big you’ll get frustrated and give up exercising. Be realistic about how much activity you can do during any given week, and how long you can exercise for at any given time.

3. Get a workout buddy

You’re more likely to meet your fitness goals if you have someone you’re accountable to and who gives you the support you need, especially when you’re feeling like reaching for the Pinot rather than the gym shoes. Schedule time with a trainer, friend or family member to avoid slouching on the couch.

4. Change your thinking

Instead of focusing on physical goals like building muscle and weight loss, concentrate on how exercise makes you feel. The mood benefits of exercise are instant whereas physical change can take months, or even years to achieve. Note how you feel before and after exercising to maintain motivation. Compare your mindsets. Try exercising outdoors to intensify the endorphin effect.

5. Reward yourself

Don't forget to reward your body and take care of the ultimate machine. A massage is a great way to improve posture and joint flexibility by ironing out kinks in muscle fibers and is something pleasurable to look forward to. A foam roller or a tennis ball has a similar effect. Or try acupuncture for the ultimate therapeutic way to feel renewed.

6. Try something new

Whatever your goal, your body adapts to an exercise after just four weeks and it stops being effective. Change things up to get consistent results. Vary reps, weight, tempo, difficulty, equipment, time and type of exercise to add variety and keep your body on its’ toes.

7. Resistance train.

Many women take up running, yoga or pilates to improve fitness, but forget how important lifting weight is to maintain bone and muscle mass, which decline from the age of 30. Resistance training helps ward off degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. Use lighter weights with high reps and you’ll look more like Kate Middleton than Arnie.

8. Sign up for a community event

Add a goal that helps focus your fitness routine by creating a sense of purpose. Signing up for a cause related race close to your heart renews commitment to exercise and offers something different from the usual routine.

9. Splurge on nice exercise gear

Ditch the washed out T shirt from ten years ago. Replace exercise gear about every six months, especially sports bras. Moisture wicking materials are a must in Jacksonville. Wear brands that reflect your style and values and you’ll be more motivated to work out and feel good in your skin whilst you’re doing it.

10. Exercise for you, not someone else

Every week there’s a new exercise fad or trend that comes to the market, it’s easy to jump on the band wagon and do something because it’s in vogue. Chose an exercise routine you genuinely enjoy, that works with where you’re at and you’ll be much more likely to do it habitually. If you like shaking your stuff in a sparkly Zumba skirt or going old school Cardio Stepping rather than Barre or PiYo, so be it.

 

Claire Watson-Irving is a certified Personal Trainer and certified Health & Wellness Coach and can be booked for sessions at Balanced Physician Care (115 Professional Drive STE 104, Ponte Vedra, FL32082).  For more information, please call 914-409-6554 or email irvingmotionislotion@gmail.com