As the snow subsides and the more consistent warm weather creeps in, it’s time to get out of the gym, off the couch and into the outdoors. Kick this spring season off on a healthy foot with these 10 tips and tricks!
Tip 1. Visit Your Local Parks
We as humans have a tendency to get into repetitive cycles and routines – and this goes for our training routes as well. You know the drill – leave the house, turn left, run .6 mile to the trail down the road, each loop = 3.3 miles, repeat, run home. We all do it! But have you actually checked out all the parks and trails in your area? Get yourself outside by making a list of the parks you want to work out in, then check them off as you go. And on the weekends, get outside of your neighborhood and drive a little! Nothing like justifying a longer run/ride than an hour drive to get there!
Tip 2. Spice Up Your Playlist
Have you been listening to the same 30 songs on your designated “workout playlist” for the last year? I have… When your playlist starts to become monotonous, it stops motivating you to keep on pushing. Change up the songs, or create multiple playlists for different activities. An alternative option is to let others do the work and use an app like DEEZER. They’ve got tons of playlists already created that you can listen to while you get that heart rate pumping!
Tip 3. Plan a Trip
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, put something on your calendar to get you and others outside and active. It’s easy to justify if it’s good for your health! Find a spot with good trails for running, biking and hiking. Or, take a beach vacation where you can paddleboard and do yoga!
Tip 4. Put a Race on Your Calendar
There’s nothing that can help to kick your butt into gear quite like registering and paying for a race. Stop perusing the list of races you want to do, and actually sign up for one already! (We’re obviously totally biased to our own running and mountain bike races that you should totally sign up for! Or, check out the entire portfolio of Life Time Athletic Events!) Once you’re registered, you’ll have something to train for and can more easily plan out your schedule (which brings us to tip 5).
Tip 5. Set a Realistic Training Schedule
Once the weather warms up, it is very easy to let the warmer days tempt our body to do more than we’re ready for – and to hide from the outdoors on those cooler days. But setting a schedule – and sticking to it – will hold you more accountable on the bad days and the good. After being cooped up for a few months, it’s important to ease the body into longer mileage and faster paces.
Tip 6. Cancel Your Working Lunch and Go For a Working Walk
If your days are bogged down by meetings, take one on the go! You can sit-and-work and sit-and-eat all day long. So, take advantage of the nicer weather, grab your co-worker, and circle the parking lot on foot! Science has actually found that a person’s creativity is increased by 60% while walking! That’s pretty good justification if you ask me.
Tip 7. Amp Up Your Fitness Wardrobe
Treat yourself to a few new items, whether it’s new earbuds, those shorts you’ve been eyeing up, or a fresh pair of kicks. If you buy some new workout gear, you’ll be more tempted to put them to use. Look good. Feel good. Play good. Am I right?!
Tip 8. Grab a Friend and Get Moving
It’s always easier to get yourself out the door if you have a partner. Even if you are at different fitness levels, finding someone to workout with once a week helps you both to hold yourselves and each other more accountable. Set a day that you’ll meet up for a workout and stick to it. Maybe even sign up for the same race together (see tip 4) so that your training plans overlap!
Tip 9. Try a New Outdoor Activity
When trying to dust off the winter rust, it’s not always that easy or enjoyable to get back into the swing of things. Maybe you let your fitness slip in the colder months, maybe there are even a few new pounds your mom’s banana bread helped you to pack on this winter (thanks mom!). Break up the frustration by mixing in some new activities. Do an outdoor circuit at the park, take the family white water rafting, hike up that mountain you’ve been sizing up, or go for a swim! Not only will it get you outside and moving – but you might actually LIKE one the activities and develop a new hobby.
Tip 10. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Okay, so you missed a few workouts this winter. The jeans you bought in September aren’t fitting just right. Who cares?! Fitness is a progression and working out is a positive and healthy contribution to your life. Placing pressures on yourself to get to a certain point takes away from the euphoria it should bring. Enjoy the fitness journey, soak up the sunshine, and set yourself attainable goals!
This article originally appeared on the Leadville Race Series Blog.
By Michelle Duffy, Sr Marketing Manager, Leadville Race Series