“Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party.” ~ Robin Williams
It’s Spring… finally! And, it’s the perfect time of year to clear the cobwebs, not just in your home, but for your mind and body. If you moved less this cold and snowy winter, it’s time to break up with your sofa and plan a spring refresh.
Take advantage of the longer days by moving more outdoors. Skip the TV and take an after-dinner walk. Ignore the sofa and put your butt on your bike. Let the fresh air give you a fresh perspective about what’s important. Nature has a way of re-energizing everything. So, what’s your first step?
For inspiration, watch the short (absolute classic) video reboot below, then read on for three ways to add ‘spring’ to your post-winter health routine.
Winter has a way of sucking energy out of mind, body and spirit. We’ve spent too much time indoors, had less movement, and less fresh air. No wonder spring fever is a thing.
Now that the days are getting longer, brighter and warmer it’s time to break up with your sofa and re-energize your relationship with your health. But, don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you. I spend the winter cycling and snowboarding… so there was very little impact is involved. Last weekend I went for what I thought was a nice, short, ease-into-things run, and I obviously overdid it, because my hips were cranky from the impact. Humbling, but I’m transferring the lessons on to you.
Want to add ‘spring’ to your post-winter health routine? Start with these three tips:
1) Think short, sweet and frequent. Don’t follow my lead and go from zero to too much on an activity you haven’t done since last fall. My 5 km run seemed like a good idea at the time. It was only 5 km, and my cycle class lungs were keen to go for days. Unfortunately, my low-impact hips joints needed to adapt more slowly to pounding the pavement. I should have done a run/walk combo, or a shorter run for the first one. That way I would have avoided the muscle pain that made me sofa-bound for two days.
A comfortable three minute run:one minute walk ratio will give your body a chance to adapt to the impact. If you start to feel joint fatigue or discomfort, stop running and head for home at an easy walking pace. Live to run another day. You can also try a ten to fifteen-minute run two or three times a week! Less is more to avoid being sore. Your body will tell you when it’s ready to step up pace or distance.
2) Make sure your shoes have spring. I’m quite sure that the hip pain I experienced after my ‘short’ run was due in part to the fact that my runners are kind of done. Last fall they were already feeling like they had lost their support and bounce, and here I was breaking my winter impact-fast with runners that are dead. If your sneakers have lost their bounce your joints will tell you pretty quick. You need your shoes to absorb the shock of impact, and if they don’t do their job your joints bear the brunt. Not a good start to your spring health reboot!
Most running shoes should be good for 500 to 750km (310 and 465 miles). If I run 5 km twice a week my shoes should last me around a year. Oops. I’ve had my current shoes for a lot longer than that. Shoe wear will depend on the terrain you run on, your running style, and whether you have a small or large build. For more info on when to replace your shoes, check out this article.
3) Variety adds zing to spring. Spring is the perfect time of year to try new and different activities. Spring gardening can provide a real workout if you get into it. Garden bed prep, raking or ice breaking, even dog poo pick up (it’s a thing in my world) will get you moving in worthwhile (if not stinky) ways.
Don’t like yard work? How about an urban hike? Most city parks boast short hikes that allow you to get outside, enjoy nature and get a bit of impact that isn’t as tough on the joints as running. Get your bike out of the garage and explore your neighborhood. Choose a route with at least one good hill. And you’ll never go wrong with a brisk power walk to get your heart rate up. Ease into more impactful runs once you have a few miles in your winter legs.
Whatever you do, choose activities that you enjoy, and do them with friends or family. Exercise is always more fun with a buddy.
If you’ve got questions about adding spring to your post-winter health routine don’t hesitate to contact me. Or, leave your comments below with ideas you’ve tried that work for you.
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