Diet Blog

Spring into fitness

Monday, 3 September 2012

The sun is finally coming out- and what better time to get in shape? With the sun shining and the air warm, spring is a great time to reinvigorate your fitness plan. Focus on getting outside and enjoy the weather! Get moving and your body will be beach-ready in no time.

If youíve been hibernating all winter, you might be running low on ideas for getting more active. Here are a few great exercises you can add into your spring fitness planÖ

Running

Jogging burns lots of calories fast and tones your legs, abs and whole body. And anyone can do it- even if it seems hard at first! Now that the weather is getting warmer thereís no reason not to get outside. Find a nice route that will give your mind a pleasant time-out while you get fit- run along the beach, or by a lake and enjoy the scenery!

If you havenít run for a while, build up your fitness slowly. Start by walking, then gradually add in intervals until you develop a comfortable rhythm. And make it a habit! It might be uncomfortable the first few times, but once you get into a routine youíll find that running can be really rewarding. Not only is it a great way to build up your fitness at a pace your feel comfortable with, it gives you great stress-release that youíll learn to love. 

Walking

If you want a more relaxing workout, going for a long power-walk in the sunshine is a great way to keep active and take advantage of the nice weather. Walking is a great painless way to build up your fitness and lose weight. You will burn calories and strengthen your legs, and after a while you will notice your fitness levels improving.

The other benefit of walking is that itís practical and easy to fit into your daily routine- you can walk to work, or to the shops, or anywhere that you would normally drive or take public transport. If itís close enough that you can walk, do it!

Biking

Grab your helmet and get outside- riding your bike is a great way to strengthen your thighs, quads, hamstrings and forearms. And on a nice day, it can be a really pleasant way to get where you need to go! Take the scenic route and ride along the beach or down some pretty suburban streets. Or, you can make it a weekend activity and take your partner, the kids or a friend along.

You can burn up to 650 calories an hour, depending on how vigorously you ride. Biking can really help you to build up your strength and fitness, without even feeling like exercise.

Swimming

Make a splash this spring- swimming is an amazing workout that helps to tone all of your muscles, especially your shoulders, legs and abs. Because it uses so many muscles, it also burns a lot if calories fast. It doesnít matter how fast your swim or what strokes you can do- just jump in the pool and start swimming at a pace thatís comfortable for you. Over time, youíll be able to swim for longer and longer and start to really enjoy it.

Most gyms will offer a cheaper membership exclusively for the use of the pool, so this can be a good option. Or, most local pools will offer fairly cheap casual passes, so find a pool near you and get swimming!

Bodyweight exercises

You donít even need any equipment to get a good workout. Just head down to the park and do your own routine of sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, whatever! Get a group of friends together and run your own Ďboot-campí type sessions outdoors. The team support makes it fun and encouraging, and less intimidating if you feel self-conscious about doing it on your own.

Jump rope

Skipping gives you a great cardio workout and can help strengthen your leg muscles. Take a jump rope down to the park and skip in the sunshine- itís a fun way to get in your daily exercise! You can even get a few friends or the kids together and relive some of that playground fun. Remember all those skipping games and chants? 

Team sports

Choose a sport that you enjoy and get some friends together and start a new team, or find a local team you can join. This is a great way to make exercise fun and social, and it gives you the commitment and discipline to help make it a regular habit. 

Outdoor yoga/pilates

Yoga and pilates give you an excellent whole-body workout, at the same time as allowing your mind some vital relaxation and reflection. And all you really need is a flat surface and a bit of peace and quiet- so why not do it down at the park or at the beach? The fresh air will help you to loosen up and calm your mind, and the natural sounds around you are perfect for meditation. Again, it might be more fun to join a group or start your own- bring some friends and make it a morning habit!



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