Spring is definitely here, and if you live anywhere near the coast, that means bikini season has arrived!
If you’ve spent winter hibernating on the couch with comfort food and Netflix, you may be feeling a bit caught out by the warmer weather. You probably thought to yourself at some point that you really should get up and do a workout, but then vetoed that idea in favour of staying cosy. Am I right?
The bad news, mate, is that you lost the opportunity to ‘make your summer body in winter’.
The good news is that living in the past never got anyone anywhere, and it’s never too late to start!
So if the warm weather and toned bodies have you inspired to start a spring fitness routine, here’s where to start.
How fit are you, really?
The best place to start a new exercise routine is with an honest look at where you are right now.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, check in with your doctor to make sure you’re good to go.
Then check in with yourself. Test some basic fitness parameters, recording them so you can return to them later to see how well you’ve done.
- Your heart rate before and after a 1.5km walk
- How long it takes you to walk 1.5km
- Some basic body measurements, including the all-important waist measurement
- Your BMI
Starting a new exercise routine can be especially challenging if you have health or injury limitations, but movement is still possible.
Choose the right movement for you
Movement is a crucial element in achieving wellness. Beyond just giving you a hot body, exercise can improve your mental and physical health substantially.
Finding the right movement will help you stick with it. Here’s what to think about:
- What are your goals? Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase fitness, or all of the above?
- How much time do you have available? And how is it distributed throughout the day? If you have a lot going on, you may need to consider breaking up your sessions into more than one mini-session a day. For example, you may walk the dog for twenty minutes before work and attend a dance class at the end of the day.
- How can you include more incidental exercise? You’ll be stoked to know that you’ll still benefit from the exercise you do going about your daily life. Think vacuuming the floor, washing the windows, taking the stairs, or installing (and using!) a standing desk.
- How can you add variety to your exercise routine? Choosing a few different ways to move means you’re less likely to get bored. It also means you’re more likely to engage a range of muscles in different ways, leading to a better outcome overall.
Plus, you’ll always have a go-to activity that will help you smash through excuses. Not keen to run in the rain? Jump on a virtual Pilates session instead!
Understanding different exercise types
Choose a variety of these that best suit your goals:
- Aerobic exercise is characterised by continuous movement – think swimming, walking, or dancing. No matter your goals, you should include some aerobic exercise in your weekly schedule.
- Strength training helps you build muscle and is important for good bone health. For this reason, you should include some weightlifting or resistance training. Yes, ladies, even you! ESPECIALLY you!
- Flexibility exercises such as stretching or yoga help you cool down from a hard workout and keep your muscles lean so that you maintain a great range of motion.
- Stability and balance exercises such as Pilates and tai chi are really important because they help improve your coordination and muscle tone.
- Calisthenics are movements such as push ups, squats, and lunges that you perform to activate your large muscle groups.
- High Intensity interval Training (HIIT) helps you increase your fitness fast. You’ll cycle through short, intense bursts of exercise and low intensity actions or rest periods.
- Boot camps are a great way to kickstart your fitness – you can even bring a friend and make it as social or competitive as you like. You’ll take part in a range of high-intensity circuits, along with resistance and aerobic exercises.
Once you have a plan, now all you have to do is start! Do this by starting slowly and increasing as you go along.
Each month check your basic fitness parameters to see how much your hard work has been paying off!
Looking for some super-motivating fitness fun?
Get your dose of fitness face-to-face or from the convenience of your own home, with a range of fitness classes including Pilates, boxing and bootcamp sessions to choose from. Choose your ideal class here.