Mar. 23, 2018After months of hibernation, of burrowing under heavy layers, turning ourselves into giant blanket-wrapped burritos, and orbiting our radiators and woodstoves like desperate ice-bound moons, spring has officially, finally sprung. This week marks the first entrance into spring, but depending on where you live and what kind of weather you’re currently putting up with, that fact could either feel like a victory or a cruel joke (looking at you, New England).
But regardless of whether your weather looks more like December blizzards than April showers, there’s no doubt this time of year has a tendency to draw us outdoors. Have you noticed that even the most frigid spring day has a touch of warmth to it? This is because, as spring in the Northern Hemisphere progresses, the sun gets farther away. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the farther away the sun is, the warmer the Earth because the rays are more concentrated. And that little extra warmth can be the perfect inspiration for bringing things outdoors and jumpstarting your spring fitness routine.
Even if you’ve been sweating it out through the fall and winter months (and if you have, a round of applause for supporting your heart health and mental wellbeing!), switching things up for the new season can have a host of benefits beyond the mat or cardio room. Adding variety to your fitness routine keeps things fresh while providing a challenge to different muscle groups (think: yoga vs. spin class, running vs. HIIT). Additionally, the fresh air, gorgeous scenery and added oxygen to your system can figuratively brush off the cobwebs, potentially having the power to boost your mood, productivity and mental clarity (who wouldn’t want that?).
Ready to make like a freshly thawed river and run? Read on for five ways to make your springtime workout feel fresh.
#1 — Add an App
If you’ve been more of a hibernating bear than a snow bunny this winter, a fitness app may be the perfect way to guide yourself into a new workout routine. Offering everything from HIIT to guided yoga, running and even walking routines, there’s a fitness app out there to suit just about every fitness and activity level. If running is your goal, try a ‘couch to 5k’ app, which supports you as you go from a more sedentary routine to running 3.1 miles. If you want to get your heart pumping, try a HIIT training app to get those high intensity intervals in.
Apps are also a great way to switch things up, download a few free options so you always have a fresh routine on hand for when you need to switch things up. Before you know it, the winter doldrums will be far in the past and you’ll be well on your way to a consistent routine.
#2 — Try a New Class
Still snow on the ground? Over a foot in the forecast? Just because winter may be lingering or April is taking the whole ‘April showers’ thing very seriously, doesn’t mean you can’t try something new! If you’ve been hiding out indoors, doing solo sports like skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing, or otherwise laying low, trying a new class could be a great way to connect with others while getting your heart pumping. If yoga is usually your thing, try a spin class. If you love boxing, try tai chi or lifting weights. Adding variety could help you discover a new passion while challenging new muscle groups and helping you meet new fitness-minded friends.
#3 — Partner Up
Need a little extra motivation? Phone a friend! Having a workout buddy can help you stay accountable (after all, it’s way harder to cancel on a friend than yourself) and and stay motivated. Meet up a couple times a week to hit the gym or hit the pavement, or start a text chain to keep each other going mid-week when your schedules may be tight. Nothing says ‘you can do it!’ like a well-chosen gif!
#4 — Bring it Outdoors
Flowers finally blossoming and birds chirping at last? Time to finally bring it all outdoors! Even if you’re not a runner, walker or cyclist (or any other sport traditionally done outdoors), you can still take advantage of the great outdoors once spring officially sets in. Bring your yoga mat to the park and practice your postures under the budding trees. More into hiking? Layer up in case the weather changes and check out some local trails. Try taking advantage of the extra hours of daylight, thanks to the recent time change, by switching up when you work out too — our bodies love variety and you may just discover you love working out in the morning or evening!
#5 — Sign Up
Ready to really get motivated? Sign up for a race. Whether it’s a classic 5k (there’s an app for that!), a full-blown marathon, or a fun run, nothing keeps you going quite like the knowledge that at some point in the near future, you’ll have to lace up your sneaks and take your place at the starting line. Not into running? Not a problem. Many gyms, crossfit boxes, yoga studios and spin boutiques host their own challenges to help members kick things up a notch. Check out the offerings in your area, sign up and then find a training plan. Within no time, race day will be here and you’ll be fully committed! (Bonus: sign up with a friend for extra initiative).
Do you have tips for staying motivated and energized for spring? Share your workout tips with us on Instagram or Facebook with @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine