Spring is just around the corner, and while the weather is already warming up in New York, this is the perfect time to re-set our intentions, our mindset, and our goals. You may have heard the saying, “Summer bodies are made in the Winter.” However, as the warmer weather quickly approaches and we shed our puffy jackets for a lighter option, how many of you are still feeling like you’d like to hide under that jacket just a little bit longer? I think the real question should be: Why do we want to hide our bodies at all?
Here are two other quotes I love, that I find just as motivating:
“Confidence is your best accessory, never leave home without”
“A smile is a curve that sets everything else straight”
Whether you are ready for warmer weather or not, it’s coming, and the best way to embrace change is with a smile and the confidence to know you are ready for this change. Because it’s GREAT change! There are sunnier, longer days. Resulting in more time spent outside = more Vitamin D = increased levels of energy and an elevated mood. An abundance of produce in season, making access to healthier and fresher options easier. Bright flowers and more tress and plants in bloom, creating cleaner oxygen and eliminating waste from the air. So I say shed those jackets! If you didn’t meet your health goals during the winter, now is a better time than ever to re-energize your mind and body and get moving.
Here are 5 simple steps to putting that spring back in your step:
- Walk. This is especially easy if you live in an urban setting. It becomes far too easy to hail a cab or call an Uber on those bitter cold days. Now that the sun is out for more hours and the temperature is rising, there are few excuses to why we cannot walk most places. And if you do live in a more rural or suburban area, where walking to the store or to school is not as convenient, make time in the day for extra outdoor activities. For example, get the family together after dinner for a walk around your neighborhood, or walk one way to/from school, with a friend or family member. These activities don’t just allow for more exercise, but they allow for a time to catch up with loved ones, breathe in the fresh air, and find a little peace of mind.
- Drink more water. Hot beverages become a winter favorite. And I know we’re not all reaching for herbal teas. To detox from those hot chocolates, apple ciders, and other sugar-laden drinks, reach for water. If you find plain water too boring, add flavors like sliced lemons, limes, and oranges, strawberries, blueberries, sliced cucumber, and mint leaves. This is my favorite water bottle for making my own water-infusions. Sparking water and vitamin water are great options as well, just make sure they do not have added sugars. Tickle water is great new sparkling water for kids, light on the bubbles, lots of fun flavors, and absolutely zero added sugars or preservatives.
- Accountability. Finding a friend who has the same health goals in mind will make it not only easier, but way more fun, to keep you on track. Struggle with certain food allergies? Find a friend with the same struggle and discover new and delicious recipes to make. Looking to get more active? Find a friend who can motivate you to try a new sport or simply just wants to play outside all day long. Feeling like you can’t sit still in school and have trouble concentrating? Find a friend with the same struggles and practice light meditation or yoga together; taking the time to slow down will help control your body and mindset in other environments.
- Write it out. Whether this means keeping a journal, a workout and food log, or planning out your meals and activities in advance, tracking is a great visual reminder for how well you are doing and where you might need more support. If you prefer using technology, the app, Fitness Pal, is my personal favorite for tracking meals and activities.
- Check-in. Lastly, it is incredibly important to check-in with your mind and body, in order to not get burnt out or over whelmed. Rest when you need it and work a little harder when you have the extra energy. Craving red meat? It’s okay to have a little. Craving sugar? Try having a piece of fruit first and see how that feels. And if you feel at a total loss for where to start, begin with that you already know you love. Love being outside? Try hiking and biking. Love chocolate? Switch from milk to dark. Enjoy relaxation? Try yoga or meditation. There are so many amazing ways to living a healthier life, it is not a one-size fits all philosophy. The best, and only, way to find out what works well for you is trying a new food or activity and listening to your body with what works well and what does not.
I’d love to hear what tips and tricks work well for you, because it may just help someone else as well. Share with the TSC community below! Happy (almost) Spring little clementines, and remember, to always show yourself some TLC!