By Janice McCurdy, PTS/FIS
Winters in the Maritimes can be brutal and this past one has been no exception. We always get a lot of snow and ice. The days are cold and dark. It makes a person just want to hibernate and binge watch Netflix with their feet up eating storm chips. For older adults, there is a real risk of falling on the ice so it’s often hard to get outside and walk. If you aren’t into winter sports, going outside in the winter is not that much fun.
With spring just around the corner, people start to feel a little hopeful as the days get longer. The contemplation of getting in better shape for spring activities starts to take fruition. For some, they want to get out and walk again, others get on their bikes, while others think about getting back to the gym so they can look better in a bathing suit come June. The main thing is getting your mind ready for it. The first thing you need to do is set a goal for yourself with a realistic timeline. Once the goal has been established, then it’s important to break it out into smaller chunks you can work on every day so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Before you know it, you will have reached your goal while getting healthier, being energized and feeling great inside and out. Here are a few tips to help you along the way and hopefully to keep you on track for the long term.
1. Ease into it. Whatever type of fitness you enjoy, whether it’s walking, running, biking, swimming, it’s very important to start slow. Remember if you have been inactive over the winter, your body has naturally deconditioned itself. If you go too fast or hard, you may injure yourself, and then you will be out of the game for a long time.
2. Get a workout buddy. This helps keep you accountable. If you have someone to workout with it can make your workout more fun and you will be more motivated to stick to it.
3. Go to a fitness class. A fitness class takes of all the guess work out of your routine. The instructor is there to motivate you, guiding you through all components of the class while moving to some great uplifting music. The participants can be a great source of support for the newcomer. It gives people a real sense of belonging.
4. Hire a trainer. A trainer can create a workout designed specifically for your goals. It’s great to have that one on one attention. The trainer will help with form and can give you many ideas on how to modify if there is a specific injury that you are dealing with. It also makes you accountable which will help keep you on track.
5. Have fun. Remember it’s important to be active with something that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be something that you dread. Exercise can be something that you look forward to every day. Find something that you like to do. Try a new sport that you haven’t done before, maybe join a dance class. Any activity that gets you off the couch and moving is a good thing.
Hopefully these tips will help you get back on track if you have taken a break this winter! Also, remember if you are at the gym and you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the trainers. The trainer’s passion is to help you along the way to achieving your personal fitness goals. Don’t be shy, that’s why we are here!