April 15, 2016

7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

It's a new dawn, a new day, a new season—and you should be feeling good! Spring is just days away, and what better time to get in shape and strut your stuff? Committing to a workout routine can help you get in bathing-suit shape for summer, boost your mood, and inspire you to reach your weight-loss goals faster. But as you know, exercise can become boring and leave you feeling unmotivated if you don't find new ways to keep it interesting. Fortunately, the spring season opens up a variety of fresh opportunities to take your workout to the next level, learn a new sport, and challenge your body. Follow these tips to overhaul your everyday exercise habits and tune into your inner fitness guru.

Revamp Your Active Wear
Did your walking shoes take a beating this winter? If you're experiencing muscle fatigue and joint pain more often than usual or notice that the cushion of your shoes is showing some wear, then it might be time to retire your current footwear. A good rule of thumb is to replace your walking shoes every 300-400 miles. Finding your sole mates depends on the type of workouts you usually do. If you're a big walker, consider buying a shoe with a more flexible frame and well-cushioned midsole to provide support and stability between slow and fast walking. But if you do a lot of cross training, then it's best to look for a pair of dunks that include shock-absorbing padding and good traction so you can wear them on a bike ride or a hike in the hills.

Take Your Workout Outdoors
With flowers blooming, milder temperatures, and longer daylight hours, there's no better season to soak up the sun and take your workout outside. If you're tired of the treadmill or elliptical, go for a walk with a friend instead. Are you a budding yogi? Wake up your senses and clear your chakras with an outdoor yoga session in your backyard or on your deck or patio. For core-strengthening exercises, head to your neighborhood park and take along an exercise mat or ball to do lunges, leg lifts, and planks on an open lawn or other grassy area.

Change Your Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks
Spring is a wonderful opportunity to overhaul your snacks. Farmer's markets brim with seasonal produce, like berries, spinach, arugula, ramps, and asparagus, and fresh herbs such as parsley and mint. Savor the season by whipping up a delicious smoothie, using spring fruits or vegetables, to enjoy before or after your workout. Combine fresh berries, a banana, nonfat Greek yogurt, fat-free milk, vanilla extract, and your choice of a sugar substitute in a blender, and you have yourself an invigorating pre- or post-workout drink. Or grab one of our South Beach Diet fruit smoothies or a Good to Go Bar for an easy and energizing burst of protein.

Try A New Sport
If you're feeling a little uninspired with your workout routine, consider a new sport. Need a suggestion? Try a fitness fusion class. Fitness fusion combines the basic principles of a traditional workout routine (including cardiovascular and core-strengthening exercise) in fun, interesting, and challenging ways. With this type of exercise, you can channel your inner rock star through fat-burning cardio dance moves and exercises with weighted drumsticks, or tap into your inner acrobat with an antigravity yoga class. Check out the health clubs and sports clubs near you to see if they offer any fusion workout classes.

Exercise With A Buddy
You know what they say about dynamic duos: Studies show that when you work out with another person, you're more likely to stick with your exercise routine than if you were to do it alone. Partner up with a family member, or a neighbor or other friend, and schedule a regular workout together. You can take after-dinner walks, set up a weekend date to hike, take a bike tour of a neighboring town, go for an interval walk on the beach, or rent a canoe or kayak to paddle along a lake or river. A game of tennis, anyone?

Join A Charity Walk or Local Fitness Event
Besides being a great way to get in shape and give back, joining a charity walk or race is also a good opportunity to set new fitness goals for the season. Sign up for one or more noncompetitive events planned in your area of the country. Training for such a long-distance walk can motivate you to stick to your workout schedule.

Challenge Yourself
Whether you're a seasoned athlete or fitness newbie, it's important to keep taking your workouts to the next level. Just as you don't want your meals to become boring, you don't want to fall into the trap of letting your exercise routine become "routine." To stay motivated, create an exercise inspiration board where you pin "before" photos of yourself, pictures of clothing you would like to wear once you reach your goal weight, and motivational quotes and images.

Source:South Beach Diet