When you think of “spring cleaning,” purging old clothes buried deep in a closet, organizing a junk drawer or vacuuming up an accumulation of dust bunnies might come to mind. Spring is a time of renewal and holds more meaning than simply conquering clutter — this season makes for a terrific time to step back and reassess other areas of your life such as your health and fitness routine.
I’ve put together a few timely tips below! Use these for yourself or pass them along to clients who are energized about longer days, warmer weather and the desire to be their best self:
1 – Take It Outside
We’ve said our goodbyes to ice and snow and gladly welcomed sunshine and flowers, so why not utilize the great outdoors? If you own a facility, advertise when a class might be held outdoors via social media (rain can still wreak havoc from time to time so it might be hard to plan too far out). Nearly any exercise class can be successfully moved outdoors, including yoga and cardio kickboxing. Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of hauling everything yourself — your attendees will be responsible for moving equipment like mats and weighted bars outside and returning the items to their proper places afterward.
2 – Toss Out Old Footwear
Athletic footwear choices are extremely important, especially for runners and/or walkers and a quality pair of shoes that fit properly will make feet feel lighter and prevent pain. If your shoes reached the end of their road or you notice that a client is using improper footwear, remember that this type of workout gear is a good investment with a solid return.
3 – Buddy Up
It’s no secret that you’re more likely to stick with a schedule if you have someone to hold you accountable. If you own a gym, play “matchmaker” by connecting individuals with similar goals and schedules to help them achieve goals. If you yourself are looking for a workout partner, ask your trainer or contacts for suggestions. You never know — a new friendship might be formed in addition to stronger abs, arms and legs!
4 – Make Your Playlist A Priority
If you’ve grown tired of listening to the same songs you downloaded back in January, assemble a new playlist or two! Capture a healthy blend of fast, nostalgic, inspirational or funny tracks as long as they mesh well and you enjoy them. So if your favorite Spice Girls tune gets your legs moving faster than normal and helps you focus, don’t worry about anyone judging your playlist…to each is own!
5 – Give The Scale A Break
Instead of designing goals based purely on weight loss, measure success by monitoring energy levels, muscle size and emotional happiness. Counting calories can be depressing, so if a craving sets in, remember to enjoy a treat here and there but always in moderation. Thinking in terms of portion size is smart, too. And if you or a client are constantly glancing over at the clock, reevaluate the activity and strive to find one more enjoyable!
6 – Find Your Inner Athlete
Tennis and golf are obvious choices for outdoor sports readily available to adults, but don’t forget about the others! Did you know that swimming laps burns 511 calories per hour while beach volleyball burns 563 per hour? On rainy days when you have to get creative, keep in mind that bowling burns 219 calories per hour!
(Important note: The number of calories burned is based on a person weighing 150 lbs. If you weigh more than 150 lbs., you will burn more calories, and if you weigh less than 150 lbs., you will burn fewer calories.)
7 – Dial Up The Intensity
Fitness plateaus can be broken by boosting your workouts to the next level. Examine the traditional pace and sprinkle in extra speed work when applicable. Have a gym member who has hit a plateau? Let them know that instead of lifting lightweight dumbbells at high reps, it would be smart to try a heavier option and go for slower, fewer reps. After all, spring is about new beginnings so look for opportunities to sprout out from comfort zones and bloom!