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Utilize This To Recharge Your Physical Fitness Regimen

The time of spring always seems like a rebirth. Blossoms are emerging, birds are singing, creatures (and individuals) are emerging from hibernation.

If the gloominess of winter had a negative impact on your physical fitness—interrupting your plans, and halting your New Year’s resolutions abruptly but all-too-familiarly, fret not, you’re not alone.

The positive news: Spring can act as a, well, diving board out of that routine. And present is the ideal moment to commence devising a spring fitness makeover.

Reasons why winter impacts our physical fitness drive

“The winter can make it truly challenging to stay active and especially to get active if that’s not already your norm,” states psychologist Jeffrey Morrow, PhD, who leads the Southern California Psychology Group, and is an authority in motivation for athletes. “Whether it’s because of the bleak conditions or simply the cold, these obstacles can result in significant decreases in activity and objectives being abandoned.”

There is scientific evidence related to human biology revealing that humans usually require more rest in winter; couple that with reduced sunlight and colder temperatures and you have a formula for reduced activity. After all, who would like to leave the warmth of that cozy blanket when it’s icy cold!

Winter can also have adverse impacts on our mental wellness. A widespread condition referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is at times labeled as “winter blues” and manifests in symptoms like exhaustion and diminished energy, excessive sleeping, weight gain, and alterations in appetite. “Even in the absence of an explicit diagnosis of a seasonal affective disorder,” Dr. Morrow remarks, “I frequently see numerous clients who evidently have some emotional sensitivity to the wintertime, especially in regions that face extensive periods of cold, overcast conditions with limited daylight.”

Reasons why the fresh season can assist you in revitalizing your objectives

The alterations associated with spring—increased daylight, milder temperatures, the perception of nature springing back to life—can render it an ideal period for a fitness revamp.

Sunlight is widely recognized to be a catalyst (if not the most crucial element, among the most crucial) for energy levels. Exposing yourself to direct sunlight within the initial hour post-awakening is among the most effective methods to manage your circadian rhythm and consequently your sleep-wake routine throughout the day (think: more consistent energy). Sunlight can also boost our mood, and serves as the most easily accessible source of vitamin D, which can support the optimization of our muscle functionality.

Warmer temperatures have been scientifically proven to augment muscle and body temperature, which reduces warm-up durations. Furthermore, exercising in warmth has been established to enhance our aerobic exercise performance. This is why numerous elite athletes and sports teams relocate to warmer climates during winter for training.

From a purely practical perspective, having more daylight implies more time for physical activities, particularly if you relish outdoor pursuits.

“Spring is a wonderful period to shift workouts outdoors and capitalize on the evolving surroundings,” says trainer and physical therapist Kristina Kam, DPT. “It can be a considerable psychological rejuvenation and initiation for clients’ fitness aspirations and motivation. Oftentimes, I notice a noteworthy rise in training commitment and intensity.”

Strategies to prepare for a spring fitness makeover

Instead of instantly returning to where you halted last summer, the most beneficial approach to regain fitness (or attain new aims) is through a gradual, step-by-step approach.

“The body and mind resist change—be it positive or negative,” states Dr. Morrow. “Hence, we require small, gradual, quantifiable steps that can safely and ultimately lead us to significant changes.”

For instance, if your spring fitness revitalization aim is to jog 10 miles a week, build up to it over a few weeks, beginning with walk/runs if you haven’t been running regularly during winter. Discover a reliable training regimen online that matches your current fitness level. A specific schedule that you can mark off each day will offer you continual, refreshing inspiration rather than pursuing a vague notion in your mind.

Even if you’ve been consistently hitting the gym all through winter, leveraging the favorable weather conditions by relocating your workouts outside can deliver a delightful psychological uplift, and offer an innovative approach to diversify the types of exercises you engage in. For instance, you could opt for kayaking instead of an arm-focused workout, embark on a leisurely hike for active recovery, or ditch that spin class in favor of exploring trails on your bicycle. Participating in yard work and spending time outdoor gardening can also provide a substantial workout.

Embracing the outdoors can infuse fresh vitality into your fitness regimen. The important aspect: Concentrate on each day separately, and revel in the journey. I look forward to seeing you out there.

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