Spring Forward with Healthy New Lifestyle Goals

altI’m always happy when Spring’s just around the corner, because it’s the perfect time of year to rev up and jumpstart implementing new goals and healthy lifestyle changes.

Usually by this time of year, my workout routine and eating habits have become pretty stale and tired, after far too many months of cold, damp and uninspiring winter weather. So with March 20th being the official First Day of Spring, I’ve already started to come up with some ideas for breathing new life into my workout routine, in addition to thinking about eating a little healthier too. So I’ll share a few of my own tips here to help you get started too.

Music can be a Great Motivator

If you already use Playlists as a way to help get yourself moving, it might be time to build some new Playlists for yourself or grab ideas off some of the preset channels or playlists that are already built into sites like Pandora, 8tracks or Spotify. And if you’ve never built a music playlist before, make it your goal to learn how to build one or maybe ask a friend to “share” one of their playlists with you or help show you how to build one for yourself.

Start Small and Build Your Way Up

Sometimes the hardest part of anything is just getting started. So with that thought in mind, start out first by telling yourself you only need to get 10 minutes of exercise a day and then head out the door to accomplish that. It’s not important so much what you do, but it’s more important that you just get started on beginning with something….even if you can only fit in 10 minutes to begin with. This could be something as simple as walking a few blocks to the market instead of driving or calling up a friend to go for a walk with you so you’ll not only get some exercise, but you also get some socialization in too.
 
Or you might decide to run a set of stairs that’s in your neighborhood or at a nearby school, or maybe do something as simple as riding your bike around a few blocks in your neighborhood. You might be surprised to discover how starting off with just 10 minutes, will eventually get you hooked into establishing a regular routine that leads you up to 30 minutes, because doing so will not only make you feel better, but it will also increase the amount of energy you have throughout the day.

Tell Your Friends & Family

Talk up your new goals with a friend or with family so they can be supportive and help you reach your new goals. Or if you can recruit a friend to be your exercise buddy at least once or twice a week, then you can each support and encourage each other, as well as enjoy spending time together while exercising. There’s something about stating your commitment out loud to others, that will help make you become more committed to sticking with them.

Set a New Fitness Goal for Yourself

This could be something as simple as charting out a monthly exercise plan for yourself or signing up for an athletic event, like a race or a cycling event, to help you stay motivated to stay on track with your new conditioning program.

Give Your Diet a Spring Cleaning

Inspire yourself by checking out some online cooking recipes with awesome images that promote lighter fare recipes with healthier ingredients like veggies and protein. Then choose a couple of new recipes to prepare each week as a means of lightening up your diet for the upcoming Spring & Summer month. Steer yourself away from eating too much sugar or too many empty carbohydrates like chips, crackers or other snacks that can totally blow you new goal of eating healthier in just one sitting.  Cut back on empty calories like alcohol which can also load up your diet with empty calories that can add weight quickly. 

I’m a firm believer that total denial of things usually leads us to disastrous results. So don’t thing in terms of totally removing things that you love from your diet, but begin to think more about doing things in moderation. In other words, you can have that glass of wine, but make it into a white wine spritzer instead by adding some sparking water to it, thereby cutting the calories in half for each glass that you drink.  You can do the same thing with mixed cocktails, by just increasing the amount of sparkling water or tonic and using less alcohol per cocktail. You’ll be surprised over time, how making small changes like these can help you lose that extra 5 pound of “insulation” that your body might have taken on this past winter!