Spring: The Perfect Season for New Fitness Goals
By Nicole Nichols, Managing Editor and Fitness Expert at SparkPeople
One of the reasons I have managed to work out consistently for many years is that I always keep my routines fresh and keep my routines fresh and interesting. For me, it's not enough to just change up my strength-training routine or running route (although I do both). I also like to set new goals to give myself something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement.
With winter behind us and the spring in full swing, now is a great time to revisit your fitness goals and try something new-especially if it involves the great outdoors. Here's what I'm doing this spring, plus a few more fitness ideas that are perfect for the season of rebirth.
5 Spring Fitness Ideas
Train for a Race
Spring is the ideal time to dust off your running shoes, hit the pavement and train for a race. Whether you're walking, running or a combination of the two, the weather is perfect. Plus now is the time to start training for late spring and summer races. Having a deadline like a race date looming over you might be all the motivation you need to stop hitting snooze each morning and make your workouts a priority. SparkPeople's Running Center has everything you need to get started (training plans for all levels, running tips and more). Our next Virtual Race is coming up soon, too (stay tuned).
Spring is the perfect time to bring your bike out of hibernation, whether you like to bike casually on a local trail or more seriously by competing in races or even commuting to work. My new goal for spring is to bike to work at least one day per week. My first commute on Monday was a success! Although I was dreading it when I woke up that morning, I had tuned up my bike and familiarized myself with the rules of the road (safety first), so my commute to work was fun and energizing-the perfect way to start the day! I'm hoping that my weekly commute by bike will become a regular, even a more frequent, part of my active lifestyle.
Hit the Trail
I like hiking and running on trails throughout the spring and summer. The scenery is breathtaking, the air is crisp and clean, and the atmosphere is so refreshing. Each summer I compete in a series of trail races-something I look forward to every year. It really brings life back into my running program and challenges my muscles in new ways. Whether you run, hike or bike on trails, let this be your reminder to get back to nature.
Perfect a Sport
Do you have a desire to get outdoors this spring but don't know where to begin? Do walking, running or biking simply not appeal to you? Then why not try your hand at a spring sport like tennis, softball, golf or kayaking! When you enjoy a sport and work to perfect your skills, the activity hardly seems like a workout despite having major calorie-burning and health-boosting benefits. Look for lessons with a pro in your area, join an amateur adult league (if you're the least bit competitive, it'll be a kick in the butt to motivate you to stay active and in shape), or play recreationally with friends or your family.
Bring Your Workout Outdoors
One fun way to liven up your exercise routine is to take your typical work out outside. Treadmill runner? Hit the streets for your jog. Love kettlebells? Bring them to your backyard. Class regular? Look for outdoor boot camp classes in your area. Sometimes just changing your scenery can do wonders for your motivation. Try a goal to exercise outdoors (however possible) once or twice a week this spring.
Spring is synonymous with rebirth. Take advantage of this lively season by injecting a little fun back into your fitness routine. Whatever goals you choose, share them with someone for accountability. I told everyone at work about my bike-to-work goal, and it's by far going to be the biggest motivator. Had I kept it to myself, it's likely that I wouldn't stick with it. Tell anyone who will listen (even share your goals in the comments below) and you'll be that much closer to recreating yourself and your future.
Have you set a new fitness goal this spring? What is your favorite way to burn calories and get fit during the warmer months?
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SparkPeople Fitness Expert Nicole Nichols is an ACE-certified personal trainer and AFAA-certified group fitness instructor. You can learn more about Nicole and her workout DVDs here.