The start of spring is a time when many people stumble or slow down their workout routines. It all makes sense. The momentum of New Year's resolutions has slowed and the summer sun has not yet arrived. But fear not, there are still plenty of ways to recharge your workout and find the motivation to be the best you can be!
Edward Health & Fitness Centers Personal Trainer Mary Bielawski says "so many people put their work first or get busy with family obligations, but you must find the time, energy, and courage to take care of yourself."
Here are a few of her tips to get you focused on better health - with plenty of time to get ready for swimsuit season:
-Make a plan.
Create a schedule each week and build in time for exercise. Consider it an appointment with yourself.
-Vary your routine.
Beat boredom by using a new cardio machine or join a class you've never tried before.
-Increase your strength training.
Try lifting weights in a different order or experiment by doing "super sets" that work two opposing muscle groups, like biceps then triceps, to provide a non-stop workout.
-Find a goal.
If you like to run, sign up for a 5K or 10K run or consider a longer distance. Consult a personal trainer and doctor before beginning marathon training. Or you may have a special occasion like a vacation or wedding coming up, giving you an extra incentive to get in shape.
-Create a new playlist.
Nothing pumps up your workout like some new music. Bielawski says to find new fast-paced tunes for your cardio workouts and something with a strong beat for doing strength training reps.
-Find a friend or personal trainer.
"Many of my clients say they need someone to push them and to be accountable to, or they wouldn't come at all," says Bielawski.
-Stay focused outside the gym.
Be good to yourself at every meal and eat consciously, says Bielawski, who is also a nutrition specialist: "Take your time, chew slowly, and enjoy your meals." She also suggests keeping a daily food journal - in a hand-written notebook or on a personalized website like www.nutrawatch.com or www.sparkpeople.com.
Above all, stay positive, even if you've taken a little time away from your workout routine. "Everyone's human," Bielawski says. "Don't look back. Just get back in the saddle and ride."