Spring is that time of year when you start to think about your summer fitness. After all, it’s when the sun shines a little brighter and those thick hoodies are about to head back into storage.
This is the perfect time to get back into shape after eating and drinking your feelings away during South Africa’s nationwide lockdown.
Whatever the reason you have had to avoid getting fit, it’s now time to get back to exercise.
There is no need to panic though, because we got you covered with tips, tricks and exercises.
Motivational spring fitness hacks
The “no pain, no gain” approach to fitness does not work. Instead, try these seven strategies to shape up this spring:
Even though sunny days may be calling your name, make sure to start slowly. Never increase your weight, time, speed, or intensity more than 10% per week.
- Keep your expectations in check
Remember that just as you did not become inactive overnight, so you will not become fit overnight. Patience is key.
As you get back to training you may have some minor muscle aches and soreness. That is acceptable but if you have any sharp or unusual pain that does not go away, pay attention.
Doing any kind of exercise with a friend will increase your motivation and help you stay committed.
If your brain is awake enough to turn off the alarm and convince you to go back to sleep, then your body is awake enough to get up.
The easiest way to ensure you meet that morning workout head-on is to simply put your feet to the floor. Just do it!
There is nothing like some good music to get you motivated.
Simple spring fitness exercises
While these simple exercises are beneficial on their own, we recommend performing them together in one routine with no break, or only a short break, in between.
This will help speed up your metabolism and give you a better workout.
Box jumps are great for toning your legs! You will need a platform of some sort that is a bit higher than you and which can support your body weight.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with the platform directly in front of you.
- Bend your knees then jump onto the platform and jump off.
- Do this in two quick and steady motions while maintaining your balance.
- Do this in three sets of at least 15 jumps.
Squats will work your entire lower body in one simple exercise.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms by your side.
- Slowly bend your knees and lower your upper body as if you are going to sit in a chair.
- As you squat, bring your arms in front of you.
- While squatting, try to keep your knees behind your feet and your back straight.
- Slowly bring your upper body back up into a standing position.
- Do three sets of 15.
Push-ups build your upper body strength and do not require much space or equipment. Now that it’s spring, you may like to take your fitness routine outside.
- Begin by starting on your hands and knees and placing your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you.
- Extend your legs back and straighten your back so you are supporting your body weight with your arms.
- Slowly bend your elbows and hold the position for three seconds (do not bend in the middle).
- Then slowly raise your body back into your starting position to finish the push-up.
- Do this as many times as you can.
Lunges are a great way to tone your legs.
- Begin by standing with one foot on a step and put your other foot behind you.
- Lunge by bending your knee, lowering your body, and keeping your shoulders in a straight line with your hips.
- Raise your body back up slowly to complete the lung.
- Do this 15 times for each leg.