You’ve been cold for months. Now, at last, the chill is moving aside, making way for kittens, dandelions, bumble bees, and birds that make pretty sounds. You are so ready for Spring Break. And there’s a new spring in your step! Well, at least, there should be.
1. Put a glide into your stride
Walking is one of the best ways to kick winter’s fitness freeze and get your inert body off the sofa. Just take that first step toward the door, and before you know it, you’re outside! In the open air, away from the TV, laundry, dirty dishes, and a thousand other “important” things that – don’t worry – will still be waiting for you when you get back. Walking outside will not only melt those (evil) doughnuts and cheese fries off your hips (burning about 100 calories/half-hour), it’s liberating, invigorating, and refreshing. It gives you a mental lift as well as an energy boost. Taking a stroll around the block is also a free avenue for connecting with neighbors and friends, or just taking in the beauty of the nearby natural world.
2. Step it up
Hiking is a great way to elevate your walking gig because basically, it’s all uphill. At least… it’ll feel that way to your quads and hamstrings for probably the first two weeks. But it all gets better after that. You can even incorporate an obstacle course into your hike, which will help improve your dexterity, agility, speed, and reflexes. It also adds a mental element to your trek that engages your brain in the activity, which can help boost your cognitive skills.
3. Break the ice
If you don’t live near a frozen lake, we’ll just apply this expression to swimming at your local YMCA – and why you haven’t been doing it. It’s time. No matter what you look like in a swimsuit right now, you need to get yourself back to the pool. Swimming is one of the BEST all-around workouts there is. Just dive (or gently step) back into the water, and start with a few laps. Swimming works your entire body – engaging all your muscle groups together – in a friendly, welcoming, low-impact environment (so unlike winter), so it’s super-easy on your joints. It improves your cardio fitness (which means heart health!) as well as your lung capacity, and can potentially lower your blood pressure. Pressing through the water is also a form of resistance-training that helps you build muscles, which also helps control your blood sugar. Another bonus: It also burns a BIG chunk of calories – about 300/half hour.
4. Spring forward!
If you’re ready to step out, warm up and get fit (again), come on back to your local Y. We’re here to help! And it’s even better if you bring a friend. (Hint: Ask us how!)
MISSION: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
VISION: We will lead our community to become the healthiest in America.
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