Spring is maybe one of my favorite times of the year. Seasonal allergies aside, it’s when I finally work up the momentum to revamp my workout routine. Thinking about making some improvements to your fitness routine? You’re in luck! This is the perfect time of year to get moving.
You don’t need to set an ambitious goal, but you should definitely have a goal in mind. I’m a big proponent of making small changes to your daily habits and tracking whatever progress you’ve made (big or small). Also, it doesn’t need to be a weight-based goal. You can set a weight loss goal, an inches lost goal, a body fat percentage goal, a feel better goal, or even an activity level goal (work out 5 times a week through the summer). Whatever your goal is to keep it in the forefront of your mind and work towards that. Then accept that your lifestyle is going to have to change to see results.
Full disclosure, I’m a pretty average mom. I don’t run marathons. Lifting is not my thing. I like my pizza and Netflix. But I also enjoy getting outside, being active, and finding ways to keep myself in check when it comes to meeting my fitness goals.
GET MOTIVATED! You can do it! Here are some basic fitness tips you can work into your spring fitness plan.
Ladies, we’ve been waiting all winter for this. Get outside. You have no idea how much of a difference it makes to get outside. Even sitting in a chair in the backyard can do wonders for your mood. Have you noticed it can also improve your kids’ mood? Outside is great!
Going outside for a short walk or a trip to the park is a great way to get your body moving and to enjoy the weather. Even if it is raining, it’s not polar vortexing anymore. No excuses. Bring an umbrella and get the little ones some rain gear. They’ll love it and everyone will be better off for it. When you feel better you do better and this can help keep you focused on whatever you’re working towards.
Find some accountability
Having friends to keep me in check is the only way I’ve ever managed to meet a fitness goal. Find a group of friends who have similar goals and commit, then check in! I had some friends who I would regularly send post-workout selfies to in a group chat and we’d cheer each other on. Sometimes we’d send photos of the cookies in the kitchen just to get the “No! Stay strong! Don’t do it!” message we need to leave the cookies alone. It’s not a perfect system, but it kept me mindful about when they were working out so I could find a way to participate in the group too. Also, virtual fitness groups are a thing. They are all over the place, especially Facebook. It is so much easier to do something new when there is someone doing it with you.
You know who is also a surprisingly good accountability buddy of mine? My 3-year-old. No joke. She loves to come with me on walks and I’ve coached her well. I’ve explained the importance of getting up and moving and she knows to remind me if I haven’t gone on a walk with her today. And she’s persistent. She would make an excellent drill sergeant one day.
Do something you enjoy
I hate running. Sorry, runner moms–I admire you all greatly. But I hate running. So you know what is not part of my fitness goal? Running. Finding the time as a mom to work out is challenging enough so don’t make it harder on yourself. Do something you enjoy. Personally, I’m a karate girl. I hit up a karate class twice a week every week for 50 minutes. It’s my thing. Find your thing! Ask around and see what people are doing for their workout and try something new.
Here are some suggestions: yoga, Pilates, swimming, biking, running, dancing (which doubles as regular date nights if you can get your partner on board and childcare lined up!), boxing, cross fit, Zumba and if none of that sounds appealing consider walking more. It’s free and requires no equipment. We’ve got 10,000 lakes in this state, find one and take a walk around it. Why a lake? Because you’ve gotta commit to it. You can quit whenever on a treadmill, but you can’t quit halfway around the lake. Your car is parked on the other side of it!
Whatever your goal is, you need some way to track progress. If your goal is simply to get outside and move more that’s awesome, but you should also track how often you’re going outside. We tend to trick ourselves into thinking we are doing more than we are. Keeping track really makes it hard to argue with. You need to keep yourself accountable. If you’re measuring weight, inches lost, body fat percentage, track those weekly. Try to take note of your measurements at the same time every week (mine is Monday mornings). Also, know that progress isn’t always linear, sometimes we have bad weeks, but keep working towards a trend that you’re overall proud of. Don’t get stuck on a bad week. Accept that it happened and move on.
When my first daughter was born, I was about 30 pounds overweight. It took me 18 months (a year and a half) to lose those 30 pounds. That’s a weight loss of about 0.4 pounds a week. That is super slow progress, ladies. But slow progress over a long period of time really does add up.
All in all, your fitness comes down to whatever changes you are willing to make. Even small progress is progress.
How do you like to stay active?