Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing—the time of year for new beginnings. Now is also the time to shed your winter coat and seize the season as most likely, by now, your New Year’s resolutions have melted away just like the winter snow. Let the beauty of the weather, with its cool, clear, sunny days, not too cold and not too hot, inspire you to spring forward on your health and fitness commitments.
What’s the best strategy for getting back on track?
Make a commitment to yourself to slowly reincorporate both cardio and strength/resistance training exercises back into your schedule. Combine exercise with attention to your nutrition—don’t forget to take advantage of the glorious spring bounty of fruits and veggies—and you will be on your way to bathing suit season. Here are four scientifically proven lifestyle changes you can make that when combined together are the best way to help you get that spring training in gear.
Four Tips for Getting your Health and Fitness Back on Track
Make time in your schedule to make fitness happen.
#1 Accountability is one of the most important tools at your disposal for helping you make and keep health and fitness goals. The first step is to carve out time in your daily schedule for exercise. Once you pencil the exercise time in your calendar, then it’s easier if you treat the time as any other appointment such as a doctor’s visit. Make the appointment and keep the appointment!
#2 A nutritious, calorie-controlled diet. This begins with a high quality breakfast to jumpstart your day, AND your metabolism. Now is the time to change those unhealthy eating habits. Try to bump up your intake of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and good fats. If weight loss is your goal, then keeping track of what you eat on paper or electronically is essential for helping you to take control of your eating habits.
#3 Daily cardio exercise. You are probably already aware that regular cardio exercise is key for keeping your body lean and your cardiovascular system fit. Health professionals recommend daily cardio exercise such as walking, running, swimming or biking for at least thirty minutes a day. A brisk walk to take a break from the work day can do wonders for your mental outlook too.
#4 Strength Training. A regular program of strength training is essential for maintaining muscle mass as we age. The problem is that with every decade of life, we lose a considerable amount of muscle. We also tend to gain fat in its place. This leads to a condition called “sarcopenia,” the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. A decline in quality of life and loss of independence is associated with elderly who have this condition. For women the “double down” is the loss of bone mass. Bone loss for women and muscle loss for all; tend to accelerate as we move in to our 40’s. The best way to attenuate muscle loss and bone degeneration to help you both now, and in your golden years, is to strength/resistance train on a regular basis today. Being “more golden” in the golden years is optimal.