5 Tips to Help You Spring Clean Your Gym Routine
by Lindsay Tigar
As the days grow longer and the weather predictions become brighter, you might notice your mood start to trend upward. What better time to liven up your gym routine than after a long, winter hibernation?
Much like the sun that's finally coming out from behind those clouds, warm mornings can be just the inspiration you need to get out of bed early and head to the gym. For a tad more motivation, consider these five tips that'll help you refresh your routine and reset for spring.
1. Switch Things Up
Regardless if the treadmill has always been your jam, or you tend to opt for free weights over machines, anyone's gym routine can get boring when the same exercises are repeated over and over again. To combat this, take advantage of the range of exercise equipment and training programs your gym provides.
Switching things up can help you challenge various muscle groups and strengthen your total body. As noted by Shape magazine, "If you do the same moves at the same intensity, and for the same number of reps day after day, you're only working certain parts of your muscles." You'll likely benefit, but only to a point, the source reports. Finding new ways to work the same muscle groups can help keep you from plateauing. As a way to ensure you actually make it to your workout, close your eyes and pick one exercise at random, springing yourself into motion!
2. Take an Active Vacation
A new trend that's becoming popular in the fitness world is incorporating your wanderlust with your quest for sweat. Since leaving the comfort of your town is definitely a way to shake up your schedule, research retreats that enhance your appreciation for fitness.
Consider vacationing in places where you can enjoy a scenic hike or yoga on the beach. A long bike ride or walk is also a great way to explore a new city while getting a workout. And hey, even if you can't sneak out of the office for a full week, there are likely many destinations just a few hours away where you can enjoy a long weekend.
3. Upgrade Your Color Scheme
Between the gloomy days, melting snowbanks and residual salt blowing around the street (and onto your puffer jacket), it's safe to say that gray is definitely the shade of winter. You've likely had enough of this hue by the time spring arrives, so a small change can make a big difference. Transitioning your daily wardrobe from black and gray to bright colors and patterns can help breathe new life into your gym routine.
4. Enlist a Friend
No matter if it's finding a date for Friday night, touring wine country or getting you out of bed in the morning, there's nothing quite like having a trusted friend to lean on for support. Chat with one of your besties (or designated workout buddy) about an upcoming race or fitness event that you can train for together. Since you won't be hanging out at the treadmill by yourself, having their daily smile and encouraging words will make you that much more excited to get creative with your gym routine.
5. Set a Goal for Summer
Want to keep up with your active kids, or feel more confident in your summer clothes? Want to run a marathon in your favorite surfside town? Maybe you want to be able to tour around Europe — and all of its many hills — without getting winded. Whatever the goal, set it now. Since reaping the benefits of a gym routine takes time, you'll want to get started during spring, so you are that much more ready for the summer.
As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.