The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, and the idea of schedules freeing up is around the corner. This is the time of year when we venture out of the gym after months of staring at the same treadmills and elliptical trainers. There are tons of fun and exciting activities to take part in as the weather changes that burn calories and tone your muscles. Swimming, cycling, hiking, running, tennis, golf, basketball, softball, volleyball, canoeing, kayaking … the list is endless. The key is to find activities you enjoy so that you will keep moving!
Many people fall into a rut, especially during the seemingly long winter months. They become afraid to try something new and get stuck doing the same old thing. Variety and playfulness, however, are essential to healthy movement. This summer, I challenge you to change that attitude and to choose movement and activity as a way of life — not a chore.
Re-embrace small spurts of activity.
Keep in mind increasing your activity level doesn’t have to solely include lengthy blocks of time for planned activity. You can burn calories through small spurts of activity all day long.
Try parking at the end of the grocery store parking lot or a few blocks away from a friend’s house and walk the rest. If you ride a subway or a bus to work, get off at an earlier stop. Take 20 minutes and walk around your garden or lawn pulling out weeds. Grab your dog for a stroll around the neighborhood. Take the stairs up to your doctor’s appointment instead of the elevator. There are endless ways every day of adding more activity, especially now that the weather permits you to be outside more often.
Take on your household to-do list.
Opportunities to get outside are at the greatest in spring and summer, so take advantage of the nicer weather and increased amount of daylight to get to all the outdoor fixer-upper jobs you’ve been putting off all winter. Clean the outside of your windows, repaint your front door, wash your car, clean out the garage. It all counts as increased activity, and you will be energized by it.
Start planning an active summer vacation now.
Why not plan a vacation this year centered around activity? There are tons of biking/walking tours around the world that offer wonderful sightseeing and learning opportunities, as well as a healthy week of being active. Or plan a trip to one of our national parks which have numerous outdoor activities set against breathtaking scenery. If you’ve already planned your summer vacation, take some time to research on the Internet how you’ll add some activity and movement to your week away. Look for local hiking paths, bicycle rentals, boat rentals, walking tours, etc.
Activity and movement are contagious. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and the more you will seek it out. Embrace the change of seasons to find more ways to fit activity into your life.
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