Most of us have spent the winter hibernating from fitness, but spring is a time of growth and a perfect time to start a movement program.
Over the winter months, you wake up to the sound of your alarm. It’s still dark outside. All you want is 10 more minutes of sleep. Hitting the snooze button is so easy and seemingly harmless that it becomes your morning routine. But those extra few minutes have negative side effects that last all day.
Zach Van Hart from Sparkspeople fitness says, “By snoozing for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or more, your body starts the day off on a lethargic foot. It’s a feeling that can take the body hours to recover from. Plus, as the day ends, you will feel tired earlier than you would without snoozing. What are the benefits to waking up before that third beep on the alarm? For starters, it gives you an energy burst that will get you out the door. Without snoozing, you are getting better, more solid sleep that will keep you more energized throughout the day. The sooner your ignition is on, the better your body will operate.”
2. Make small changes
A simple and overlooked way to help your body is stretching. We think of stretching as a quick warm-up before a real workout, but 10- 15 minutes can do a lot of good. Stretched and relaxed muscles help all areas of the body: energy, circulation to joints and tissues, and strength and mobility.
Limiting yourself to 10-15 minutes of exercise will allow your body to ease back into working order. A 15-minute jog or a round of push-ups and sit-ups is easy to handle. Even tossing a ball with a co-worker, child or spouse will help implement those small changes. If you want an easy way to work the whole body, try SparkPeople 10 Ten Minute Workouts.
3. Do your own dirty work
Cutting the grass, trimming the bushes, cleaning the gutters, washing windows, painting the fence, and spreading mulch can be activities that do double duty. Get your chores done and get a good workout. Without chores, would you be outside and getting into shape, or on the couch munching? Like them or not, chores are a great way to give your body a kick start on warmer days. Weeding, pushing a mower (ride-ons and power mowers don’t count) , digging the garden bed, and painting are great exercises for your upper body, especially for building endurance. Plus, if it’s a sunny day, you can work on that tan and get some Vit D at the same time!
4. Go for bursts of speed
Some call it cabin fever. It’s that random moment when you feel like running a four-minute mile, dunking a basketball, or bench pressing 300 pounds. When you can’t stand to be stuck inside another minute, take advantage of the motivation. With the weather getting nicer and the days getting longer, get out and do something. Don’t hold back. Go ahead and push yourself because that’s what your body wants. Of course, it’s important to warm up first and stretch, as well as to stop before the point of complete exhaustion. It may only take 15 minutes before you’re beat, but your body will be running on all cylinders and headed down the right track towards being healthy and happy. Each burst will get a little longer.
With Spring welcome the urge to move and go with it. What will you do?