This winter like few others in history will go down as one of the coldest on record. With Florida chipping ice off windshields, and Louisiana having a week of snow days, it is no wonder a few of us may be carrying a little extra winter weight. Let’s face it, that extra layer of fat was probably only there to keep us warm these past few months. However, spring has sprung and it is time to get fit again. As the mercury rises, the excuse for not getting fit lessens. So open the windows, let the sunshine in and work on becoming as fit and healthy as the days get longer.
Go for a Stroll
If you have been lax about fitness over the winter, start slow. Muscles that have not been used in a few months need a little bit of warming up before you do any type of hard-core workout. At the first opportunity, put on your spring jacket and go for a walk in your neighborhood. It does not have to be a run, jog or even speed walk. Take it easy your first time out and walk at your own pace. Remember the saying? No matter how slow you are going, you are still passing everyone on the couch. As you get used to the exercise you can increase both speed and distance.
There are few things tastier than a salad made of early spring vegetables. It is an opportunity to leave the trucked in lettuce and visit your favorite farmer’s market for fresh kale, arugula, asparagus, radishes and spring onions. After a long winter of imported fruits and veggies, you can almost taste the freshness of the season. Shortly after the spring greens, be sure to indulge in the later spring fruits like cherries, strawberries and rhubarb. Your body will be energized by the natural vitamins and minerals you soak in from the healthy spring food choices.
Consider a Detox
Chances are that those extra couple of pounds that snuck up on you during the winter was not put there by eating the healthiest food. Sometimes the best way to reboot your system and put you on the right path to a great spring body is to start with a detox diet for a few days. This does not mean cabbage soup and water, do it the right way. Try eliminating refined sugar, flour, caffeine, dairy products, gluten and alcohol for a week. Increase your water intake and talk to your doctor, naturopath, or pharmacist about adding vitamin supplements to ensure you are getting everything you need to do your detox right. This is also a great time to get your head detoxed as well. Try some meditation, introspection or simple reflection to help calm and clear your mind of negative emotions and feelings.
Let the Sunshine in
Even if you do not do any of the things listed above, open your windows sit on your front porch and lift your face to the sun. Studies have shown time and again that we do not only need the sun to produce the vitamin D we require, but we need it to stay happy. With so many people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder) all winter, spring is a time to put away the depression and gloom and start smiling again.
Fortunately getting your body ready for spring is a whole lot more pleasant than keeping a New Year’s resolution. Everyone actually wants to get outside and exercise in the warmer weather, so half the battle to getting fit is already won. Add some healthy eating, some great vitamin supplements, and a positive attitude and there will be no need getting your body ready for swimsuit season, because it will already be there.