Believe it or not, the changing of the season is among the best times to step up your fitness game. As we recover from the holidays, it’s a perfect time to embrace good habits. There is an element of renewal that comes with the impending spring that is a good impetus to embrace change in your life. To that end, here are five tips on how to jump start your fitness regimen – or take it to the next level.
Embrace the change in weather.
Wherever you live, the end of winter can be a splendid time to get outside and run, hike or bike. With the huge assortment of gear designed to make you comfortable in brisk temperatures, you can bring your workout outdoors. In climates where there is a healthy bit of snow, look at it as an opportunity to try things like snow shoeing or cross country skiing – which can work a different set of muscles than you tend to target in the gym.
Treat this as an opportunity to start a new year of self education.
Just as schools get back from break with a fresh perspective, apply one to your exercise regimens. Think of the new year as the start of your own educational journey and try something new – be it yoga, boxing, CrossFit, or any other form of exercise.
Embrace walking meetings.
This one may seem small, but walking is a great way to combat the excessive sitting that many office workers suffer from. What’s more, walking is effective at stimulating neural pathways – you’ll perform at a higher level of mental acuity. Make a habit of scheduling your small meetings as a walk – perhaps around the block, or around your office campus. The benefits in how you feel and think are tangible.
Don’t let the dark deter you.
Though the days are short, don’t stop exercising outdoors. Runs at dusk can provide particularly beautiful scenery. On an early morning run, you may catch those precious first rays of sun. When running in the dark, make sure to wear reflective attire. Fortunately, that reflective attire has come a long way from what grade school crossing guards are outfitted with. A number of companies are producing some terrific, progressive designs.
Manage your mood.
The consistent darkness and lack of sunlight can have profound impacts on our motivation. There are a number of ways to combat this. First, make sure you’re on top of your nutrition, especially things like Vitamin D (the sunlight vitamin) which can have meaningful impacts on mood, and which many people in cold climates will be lacking during winter months. Similarly, mood enhancing supplements like 5-HTP can have beneficial impacts on your outlook during those grey months. Lastly, if you feel your nutrition is shored up, try experimenting with light therapy.