Let’s face it, for all the potential that the spring and summer hold, they never feel long enough, leaving a lot of us regretting or feeling we didn’t ‘jump in’ as much as we’d planned. But where fitness is concerned, there are simple ways we can savour every ounce of these special months, while keeping our workouts healthy and proactive all season long. The key step to making your workout more fun this spring: letting your inner child take the lead.
When you were a kid and you saw something you wanted to try, you would just go for it! Carry that same mentality into your workouts. The warm months blow by, so don’t miss out on opportunities to dive into the lake at the cottage, try a zipline with friends, or buy that adventurous bathing suit without overthinking what others might think or how it’s “not you”. Give it a shot! It could help you see yourself in a whole new light.
A large part of your summer workout regime should involve having fun. Workouts that are based on repetition can reinforce poor technique and in turn potentially inhibit one’s overall performance. Traditionally, an emphasis on body parts like stronger shoulders, rock hard abdomens and solid quads, these traditional gym workouts aren’t enough and actually may be doing more harm than good.
A better way to get fit as the weather warms is to intersperse yoga-based muscular release along with dynamic movements to enhance your athletic performance. In training, as with yoga, think of yourself as an athlete and ensure that you do dynamic movements not just static stretches or repetitive actions.
Here are three smart (and fun) tips to incorporate into your fitness routine as the sunny weather makes an appearance.
3 Ways to Make Your Workout More Fun
ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
This one is obvious. Why spend all your time walking on a treadmill indoors when you could be enjoying the weather? Whether it’s for a jog on the trail or going out to check on your garden, getting outside provides our body with an extra boost of oxygen that will help us continue with our day. It’s also a time to introduce new and fun activities you haven’t tried before—at least not since you were a kid. Stop worrying about what you look like and climb on a play structure, roll down a hill, walk on a log. We dare you.
BREATHE IT ALL IN
There’s something about the sense of smell as the weather changes that can give your body, mind and spirit a real boost. Have you noticed the smell of a forest or wet pavement in the spring? Now is your chance. The weather is allowing us to get outside, so breathe it in. Literally! Open your nostrils and inhale, and then exhale, and then do it again, slowly and purposefully. Incorporating deep breathing into our walking, running and other activities not only calms our nervous system but can open up your chest mobility to counter the hunching and slouching we did all winter.
Have you seen all those Facebook posts of your yogi friends standing on their heads at the beach? Wondering why on earth they are spending their time upside down? There’s actually a good reason. Remember those monkey bars you used to play on? There are similar versions around us everywhere. Whether it’s at the gym or in the park on in the sand, getting upside down can not only change our perspective, but deliver much-needed relief to lower back muscles as well as decompressing the spine. The upside-down position also also promotes blood circulation to surrounding muscles and the brain. In this case, a head rush is actually good for you. So try it.
Ann Green is a former world competitive athlete, an E-RYT 500 teacher and studio owner of BLiSS Ann Green Yoga. Her teaching is built upon traditional foundations of yoga and fitness with a modern, playful style in her approach.