Getting in Shape For Spring Activities
Winter Blues hit hard if you don’t enjoy the cold! It can be hard to motivate yourself to stay active during the winter months if you aren’t interested in winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, etc. This can lead to inactivity during the winter, followed by your body being in less-than-optimal shape when spring and summer roll around. Studies show that most people are more active in nicer weather. With spring approaching, we need to think about getting our bodies ready for the increased activity so that we are less prone to injuries!
How do I start getting in shape?
Make a plan! One of the most effective ways to accomplish a goal is to write it down. Take time to think about a map out where you physically want to be in a month, two months, etc. Consider getting a small planner or chart to write down goals.
Make the goals realistic
Would we like to lose a bunch of pounds in just two weeks, be able to run a 5k, develop super strong muscles, and six-pack abs in a month? Yes, please! However, attaining goals like that will realistically take a little more time. Consider using the SMART goal philosophy: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Specific. Instead of just saying, “I’m going to lose weight.”, set a goal of losing a specific amount of weight. For example, you want to lose 10 pounds. Another goal may be to increase your walking or running distance to 2 miles.
You must be able to measure your goal and progress! If weight loss is your goal, invest in an inexpensive scale. For exercise goals, consider investing in a fitness tracker.
Make a goal that is realistic for your body and your lifestyle.
Maybe your goal isn’t to lose weight. Perhaps you want to simple change your body composition by gaining more muscle mass and getting stronger. Maybe you want to walk further. Make goals that you want to achieve!
Time-bound.Set “stepping stones”. For any goal, break it down into a weekly measurable objective. For weight loss, for example, you might aim for 1 pound per week until your 10 pound goal is met. Similarly, if your goal is to build muscle strength, you might set a 4-week goal to check in on your strength test and then again at 8 weeks. Strength building takes time, so these would be appropriate parameters. For walking, you could aim to increase your daily walks by ¼ mile each day.
Jumping into a heavy workout plan that your body isn’t adapted to may put you at risk for injury. Start with short durations of workouts or activities, such as a 10 minute walk or bike ride, and then start to increase your time and intensity as you build stamina. Always remember to warm up and stretch before beginning a workout or heavy activity.
Ideas for Activity
Get outdoors! Walking, bike riding, gardening, yardwork, hiking, or even something fun like an outdoor picnic can be fun ways to enjoy the warming weather and stay active at the same time. If outdoor activities are still not your thing, there are plenty of ways to stay active indoors as well.
If you are hesitant to begin a fitness routine and don’t know where to start, or are struggling with pain that is holding you back from activities you enjoy, don’t hesitate to contact a physical therapist and be evaluated! At PTSI we are committed to getting people back to life! Call us to schedule your 10 minute no charge consultation 208-478-1488.