Many people struggle with keeping active over the winter months because of the ice, snow and cold temperatures. With spring and warmer weather approaching, you may be increasing your physical activity and we want to make sure you do so safely and successfully! Read on for some helpful tips.
1. Keep motivated by taking it slow
You may have been exercising or walking more often last year but we don’t want to start out at the same frequency or length. Starting back at full steam can be overwhelming and increase the risk you won’t be able to keep it up. If you were walking five times per week previously, gradually work up to this over a number of weeks.
2. Keep injury free
Similar to the above recommendations, we also want to gradually work up to the same frequency and duration because your body needs time to adjust to your usual activity levels to prevent pain and injury. Don’t push it too hard when you’re first starting out!
3. Any amount of exercise is better than none
Many people feel discouraged when we are not able to keep up with our planned routine and may opt not to “bother” with a short bout of exercise. Even five minutes is better than none! Avoid black and white thinking about your exercise routine, and try to fit in small amounts when you’re not able to stick with your usual plan.
4. Focus on joyful movements
Make sure that you enjoy the physical activity that you are doing so you are more likely to keep up with it. It doesn’t have to be the gym if you do not like that environment. For example, dancing or walking count as exercise too! Other strategies might be to include a friend or family member to accompany you or listening to music.
5. Know the guidelines
Ideally we would be achieving 150 minutes of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise per week as well as resistance exercise (the type that works your muscles) two times per week.