10 Tips for Your Spring Fitness Routine

man running outdoors_mpgThe main purpose of exercising is to feel good about ourselves. While getting active is an important step to becoming healthy, it’s supposed to be fun and not become a stressor for you each day.

With the spring season upon us, here are 10 tips to get you going, whether you’re just beginning an exercise program or you’re an avid exerciser.  Remember, individual exercise is not a competition so go at your own pace and enjoy your spring fitness routine.

  1. Schedule a physical with your doctor – Make sure your blood pressure, cholesterol and vitamins/minerals are all in line before designing your program. If you haven’t had a physical in years, this is the perfect time to tell your doctor that you’re ready to make a change.
  2. Set a schedule – Be realistic about your exercise schedule. Don’t over-work yourself until you get in a regular routine and your body adjusts.
  3. Exercise with a family member or friend – Support systems are always the best ways to keep on track. This is especially true when you wake up in the morning with sore muscles and you don’t want to exercise. Your “buddy” will help you get motivated to keep going.
  4. Proper equipment – Running shoes are good for 300-400 miles so don’t wear out your support. Overusing your running shoes can cause orthopedic problems.
  5. Restock your kitchen – If you still have chips and cookies lingering around, get rid of them. You want to eliminate any possible temptations that could arise during a “moment of weakness.”
  6. Skin protection – If you’re going to be exercising outdoors, put on sun screen and wear sun-repellent clothing if possible.
  7. Stretch – Make sure you always stretch after doing a warm-up to prevent injuries and sore muscles.  Flexibility is key when it comes to being active.
  8. Hydrate – If you’re going to be exercising outside you must stay hydrated. Proper hydration will help prevent cramping and fatigue.
  9. Farmers Market – On weekend mornings after your workout, visit your local farmer’s market. Support your local farmers and get the freshest food since it doesn’t have to travel far to get to your area.
  10. The scale – How you feel and look is more important than what the scale says. Too often the scale is the end-all, be-all to what we think of ourselves. Feeling fit and positive about what you’re doing is the most important part of fitness.

The key to getting on the right track is just getting started.  Visit these sites for more helpful tips on getting active and staying healthy.

http://www.shape.com/

http://www.acsm.org/

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