Summer is right around the corner and there’s no better time to set some fitness resolutions for the rest of the year. Creating a solid game plan right now is a great way to ensure you stay on track and committed to a healthy lifestyle. Here are 7 ways to get your fitness goals into gear.
Consult your doctor before starting a new workout plan. According to Mayo Clinic, “Although moderate physical activity such as brisk walking is safe for most people, health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program if any of the following apply:
1. Safety first.
- You have heart disease.
- You have asthma or lung disease.
- You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- You have kidney disease.
- You have arthritis.
- You're being treated for cancer, or you have recently completed cancer treatment.”
Once you’re cleared to boost your activity level, exercising safely is important to avoid injury and enhance your health. For example, warming up before exercise helps to get the blood flowing - and cooling down promotes healthy recovery. Stretching before and after a workout is also crucial for preventing injury, as well as improving performance. Knowing your limits is also key, especially if you haven’t been active in a while. Start slowly and build up your stamina over a few weeks so as not to overexert your body.
Lastly, remember that safety is important when exercising outdoors. You should always be mindful of your surroundings and wear reflective clothing if you are going for a jog at night.
2. Be S.M.A.R.T. about your goals.
People are more likely to stick with a plan if they set S.M.A.R.T. goals. For example, instead of setting a vague goal like “I’d like to run longer and faster,” if you take the S.M.A.R.T approach it would look something like this, “I’d like to be able to run a 5k in under 26 minutes by August 30th.” In other words, your goal now becomes specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time bound. Once you’ve come up with your big picture S.M.A.R.T goal, you can then work backward and set smaller milestones in order to achieve it. It’s also a good idea to plan on celebrating small wins. This will help you to stay motivated on your fitness journey.
3. Figure out how to motivate yourself.
Gretchen Rubin’s quiz, “The Four Tendencies” will help you to figure out how best to motivate yourself to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. In a nutshell, figuring out your “tendency” will help you determine how you respond to expectations: outer expectations (e.g. a request from a family member) and inner expectations (e.g. sticking to your fitness goals). Whether you are an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel, you can figure out the tools to counterbalance any negative traits that may be holding you back from achieving your goals.
4. Be sociable.
Some people enjoy working out alone, while others prefer a group setting. There are so many opportunities to meet new people who might also be interested in jogging or running especially during the summer. You could find out if there’s a local running club in your area or even join a private facebook group. These options offer the benefit of accountability and allow you to give and share tips that will help you and others. If you use a fitness tracker, you can also add ‘friends’ to challenge, compete and motivate each other.
5. Get outside.Thanks to longer days and warmer weather, summer offers so many opportunities to workout in a fun way. Here are some ideas:
Do a fun run. There are so many different ones to choose from. Some examples are: Mud Runs, Bubble Runs, or obstacle course runs like Rugged Maniac.
Enjoy a staycation. In addition to having fun, attending spring and summer festivals involve lots of walking. The same applies to visiting a zoo, museum or National Park near you. If you have a fitness tracker, use it to see your steps add up.
- Try a new outdoor activity. Other summer fun fitness ideas include biking, swimming, going for a run on the beach, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking and horseback riding.
6. Spring clean your house.
This might not sound like the most fun way to spend your time but chances are, you might end up getting rid of more than just dust bunnies. A 150-lb person will burn just under 100 calories doing 30-minutes of housework. In addition, a good spring clean helps to remove germs and allergens from your home which can make you feel healthier. Studies show that getting rid of clutter can also help you get rid of stress. Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, a psychologist who specializes in stress reduction, believes that “messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.” Yard work such as mowing the lawn or gardening also fits the bill.
7. Get some fun gear.
The term “dress for success” doesn’t just apply to your career goals. Having the right fitness gear can help to boost your performance and your mood. Fun workout gear actually helps motivate you to stay on track with your fitness goals. One thing to add to your fitness wardrobe is our Crazy Compression socks! In addition to being stylish and available in fun colors, our socks give your feet the support they deserve. They are perfect for promoting blood circulation that helps with muscle recovery. Crazy Compression socks will also be a good fit whether you run 1 mile, 20 miles or somewhere in between.
As you plan for summer, try one or more of these tips to kickstart your fitness goals and stay on target to incorporate a healthy routine for the remainder of the year.