Ready to say goodbye to winter doldrums and hello to spring? As the grey clouds begin to part, the sun begins to shine and flowers begin to bloom, it's time to spring ahead with your activity level. Soon you can ditch those winter layers, pull out your bright spring clothes and enjoy the outdoors as it comes to life again. Spring means new beginnings, a fresh start, outdoor exercise, warm weather activities and the impending arrival of sleeveless days.
Use the renewal of springtime to revitalize your routine with these eight tips:
1. Change your scenery.
You know why people complain about working in windowless cubicles? Because gray walls with no view to the outdoors can be depressing. Caged in under artificial light doesn't do much for your outlook, mood or creativity. Make time to change up your scenery — even if it's just an open window with fresh air when you drift off to sleep. Take a lunch break outside, or walk outside after dinner. Change up your usual scenery and get the fresh, warm air of spring to energize you. Stepping outside into springtime weather (especially for those of us who endured brutal winters) can quickly switch our minds to all the possibilities of a new season.
2. Ramp up your exercise routine.
People often regret the comfort food of winter and feel blue about it through the spring and into the summer. Don't let that be you. Think spring into fitness. Step up your exercise routine. Add more time or more intensity to your exercise plans. Try a new workout for this new season. Do a hard push into a new routine. Get yourself hooked on exercising more frequently, before you overthink your plans. Come summer, you'll be smiling at your progress.
3. Think picnic.
Have a clean-eating picnic. Pick up things from your local farmers market or the perimeter of your grocery store. Opt for colorful fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, nuts and delicious herb-infused waters. Enjoy the outside as you eat healthy for your insides!
4. Sign up for a race.
Spring is the time when races are everywhere you look. Check your local newspaper for a 5k or other race you can join.
5. Get out in your own driveway.
Be creative and get the whole family moving. The ideas are endless. Get out those jump ropes, hula hoops and basketballs. Play some hopscotch. Grab some chalk and draw a ladder on the driveway and time yourselves doing fast feet or single leg jumps along the rungs. Get a quick pickup game of hoops started, or take turns playing jump rope games. Try to think of it as active family play time instead of workout time.
6. Find a path.
Whether it’s a track, trail or walking path, grab your pair of gym shoes and head out with your whole family. You can take a penny hike, where you flip a coin at each corner to determine which direction you'll head. Kids love finding out the mystery of which way you will go. Of course, you will find your way home eventually, but you will be participating in one of the easiest and most convenient exercise around — walking.
7. Get active as a family.
Involve your kids with house work, yard work and gardening, but put your whole body into it. Be vigorous about it and use all of your muscle groups. Want to shake up your family activity? Plan a fitness vacation. There are tons of great vacations that are more active than the traditional sit-on-the-beach vacation. There are tons of great alternatives that involve walking tours, rafting trips or zip-lining adventures. The opportunities are endless. You can even go to your favorite city and walk from sight to sight with your family. Try some weekend active getaways too!
8. Move more.
I always tell people that it isn't enough to have one hour in a day designated for exercise while you sit on your butt the rest of the day. To be healthy and full of vitality this spring, move more throughout the day. Stand up more. Walk instead of taking the car. Grab your bike and go. Take the stairs. Stretch. Aim to sit less, and find creative ways to get more movement into your days.
Greet spring with a new perspective on your activity level. What you put out comes back to you — so extend some energy into these ideas and enjoy the energy increase you will feel! Happy spring!
This article was originally published at www.mindbodygreen.com