In preparation for the first day of spring, which is, March 19 this year, we wanted to share with you some tips to "spring" back into shape. Springtime is the season where you begin to shed the layers and sport the newest fashions, and many individuals use the annual vernal equinox as their incentive to get back into shape. Here are some suggestions:
1. Start Slow
After a long, cold winter of decreased or no activity, you may wish to get outdoors and start getting active the minute the weather improves. While this is fine, you don't want to "pick up where you left off" last season and try to perform the same level of exercise you did then. This could lead to early-season injuries. If you slowed down during the winter months, you'll need to start getting back into shape slowly and work your way up.
2. Find Activities to Keep You Active Each Day
If you find activities you enjoy, it will be easier to be active each day. This can be anything from taking a walk around your neighborhood to playing some ball with your child. Whatever you can do to get you active and your body moving will place you in a better mental and physical state than you were when you were inactive.
3. Turn the Television Off
Get out from under the TV. If you can reduce your television exposure, you'll also be eliminating those convenience foods you typically eat while watching the screen. Becoming involved in a household task or getting outdoors will help you diminish your temptations to snack and indulge in overeating, which is what you know you'd end up doing if you were sitting there in front of the TV.
4. Don't Workout in Pain
As you spring back into shape this spring, you'll likely experience some minor soreness and muscle aches. This is normal and is really your body telling you that you haven't been active for a while. You can even workout through this minor pain the next day. But, if you're experiencing sharp or unusual soreness or pain that won't go away, immediately stop exercising. It could be an injury. If it doesn't go away in a couple of days, see your doctor just to be sure.
5. Consume More Frequent, Smaller Meals
Instead of eating three meals loaded with calories (plus snacks) each day, try to consume six smaller meals with fewer calories (no more than 400 calories) each day instead. This will have you eating every few hours and it keeps you balanced and never famished or feeling stuffed — ideal if you're looking to lose fat and get into shape.
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