Spring cleaning is all about out with the old and in with the new. You sweep out the cobwebs, open your windows and let the fresh air, and the fresh ideas, in. So why is it so hard to let go of an old workout routine? Have you plateaued? Are you not seeing any changes anymore? Or are you just bored with it? Spring clean your fitness routine, change it up, and give your body the kick-start it needs to get to the next level. But how can you do that? Here are some strategies to renew and revitalize your workouts.
1. When it’s nice go outside. Even if it’s not warm yet, when the sun is shining, bundle up and get out there. Remember, you need to get sunlight for your body to produce vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium, the creation of phosphorus, and maintaining a healthy immune system. (See Sidebar: Are You Getting Enough D?))
2. Add some new strength training into your workout mix. If you’re new to weight training, start simply with body weight exercises like squats, planks, and dumbbell rows. As you gain strength, graduate to light weights or heavier weights if you’re already in a weight-training program, and more complex exercises that work several muscle groups at once.
3. Mix it up with intramural sports. Intramural sports are those which take place literally between four walls. You can find varieties of intramural activities of all types, and for all ages, with a quick google search. Everything from racquet sports, to soccer, to dodgeball leagues, you can find something you’ll enjoy at a price you can afford, that will let you move your muscles in new and interesting ways.
4. Give a few new exercise classes a whirl. Most gyms offer a variety of exercise classes, from yoga to Zumba, and there are a lot of specialty studios around offering, for instance, CrossFit, rock climbing, or ballet Barre classes, which are low impact and lengthen and strengthen muscles. And remember, guys, classes aren’t just for the women. Anything that changes up your usual routine is good for your body.
5. Consider registering for a race. Many communities offer a variety of races throughout the year, with different distances over different terrains. Most organized races have training programs as part of their information package, so check them out.
6. Get an accountability buddy. Spring is a time when relationships are forged. Find a training buddy to walk or run with, or to head to the gym with. It’s easy to not keep promises to ourselves; it is much harder to let your workout buddy down. Maybe your workout buddy will encourage you to try something new—you never know! Pro Tip: If you’re anything like most people, don’t choose your bestie as your workout buddy. Most best friends can talk each other into, or out of anything. Choose a good acquaintance you feel will be a good influence on your fitness habits.
7. Hire a personal trainer. When you’ve hit a rut, hiring a fitness expert is really your best option to rollout a workout makeover. Not only do they have an expansive knowledge of exercises and training methods, they understand how your muscles work together to create a complete body workout.They also know when to switch up your routine to keep you engaged. Personal Training can take so many different forms these days: one-on-one; couples workouts; small group training; or even online programs. Plus, when you have made the decision and the financial commitment to Personal Trainer, you will feel more dedicated to making it to your sessions and doing your solo workouts because you have accountability to someone.