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Spring into fitness

As we brush off the slough of winter and emerge from a state of semi-hibernation, a whole heap of people start to think about exercise and fitness and getting that lean, toned, swimming suit-ready body.

Of course, the real way to fitness is consistency throughout the year but equally we do understand that the cold winter months are hardly conducive to going out for a run or bike ride and the thought of putting on gym kit is sometimes just downright horrible. So here are some ways that you can kickstart your spring and summer fitness drive.

One of the most obvious routes back to fitness is to sign up to the gym. There you will find equipment, machinery and expertise in a ready-made motivational environment. But, if you are used to going along to the gym and doing the same routine, then sometimes remaining motivated becomes an issue. If you have been doing the same exercise routine for weeks or months, then it might be time to look at your activity sessions and add some new elements. There are heaps of different activities you can do, from Zumba to Yoga, from Bootcamp to Sculpt and Tone.

If you are stuck for ideas or worried that an activity might not be suitable for you, then you can ask for advice from a personal trainer or gym instructor. They can point you in the direction of new training ideas or activities that will help you re-engage with all the gym has to offer. Equally, it might just be that you need a new challenge and a personal trainer will be able to help you identify and achieve new goals and reach new targets.

We also recognise that sometimes you just kick back against that gym environment. Just occasionally, the thought of the same routine, the same faces and the same noise and sweat is anathema, You just need a change.

Play a game with mates:

Whether it is getting together with a friend for a game of squash or joining a basketball, football or badminton group, doing an activity with friends will give you the extra boost you need to get out and about. Once you are an integral part of a team, then it is far more difficult to drop out of the activity. Not letting team mates down can really act as a spur to get out of the house.

Train at a different time:

If leaving the house during the evening does not appeal, then think about changing your routine. Going for a run before work is a energy-boosting way to start the day; a swim in the morning is one way to awaken the senses; a spin-class before breakfast will get the metabolism working hard; even a brisk walk with the dog will banish any blues and give you an energy boost. If exercise in the morning is either impossible or unthinkable to you, then consider using your lunch break. Even a 20-minute brisk walk or jog will be beneficial to you and help keep your fitness levels ticking over.

Use the weekend wisely:

The weekend offers a fantastic chance to get out and about in the daylight. While you might not want to spend all your weekend doing exercise, sometimes adding a run, a bike-ride or a game of frisbee with family or friends in the park, will provide you with all the benefits of exercise.

Exercise with benefits

While a super lean body is many people’s main reason for exercise, there are so many other benefits to be had. Regular exercise will give your immune system a boost; it will raise the levels of endorphins (hormones that make you feel good), making you feel happier; it will reduce any stress you may be feeling; and it will help you maintain a good level of fitness and help control your body weight.

These are just some of the short-term benefits. The long-term benefits are even greater: reduced risk of chronic disease; stronger bones; improved cardio-vascular system – the list goes on.

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