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9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fitness Plan9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fitness Plan


Spring Clean Your Fitness Plan

Purge old workout gear.

Socks wear thin, sports bras lose support, waistbands stretch out, and the UPF in sun-protective clothing decreases with each wash. Toss exercise clothing that is worn out and donate what you don’t wear. Tennis shoes last for about 300 to 400 miles of activity. Get fitted for a new pair, and donate those that are past their prime to a program such as Soles4Souls.

Simplify your diet.

Now is the time to take advantage of spring's fresh produce. Concentrate on lighter foods and fewer ingredients. Skip the packaged products, and reach for fruits of the season, such as strawberries, raspberries, and apricots. Incorporate nutrient-rich asparagus, pea pods, and crisp greens into your meals.

Add a meditative workout to your week.

Head out on a nature hike or stretch at a place in the park with the best views. Take in your surroundings and be grateful for the gift of exercise and health.

Invite a friend.

Expand your support network. Start a walking group and exercise together a few times a week. Host a monthly cooking club where each member shares healthy ways to make favorite meals.

Set a goal for summer.

Pick a fun 5K to walk or run, set the number of standard push ups you will accomplish in one set, or aim to climb all the stairs at the stadium without stopping for a break. Whatever the goal, make sure it spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S.

Throw out a bad habit.

Maybe you can’t resist the candy dish after a stressful morning meeting, you skip stretching after workouts, or you indulge in a few more specialty coffees each week than you should. Even with all the positive changes you have made, there is likely one bad habit that sticks around. Now is the time to kick it to the curb.

Try a new exercise time.

Extended daylight is one of the best things about the arrival of spring. If you've been squeezing in a lunchtime workout all winter, try switching things up with an early morning run or a tennis match after work.

Trade in a boring routine.

Your body needs new challenges to stay fit so it’s important to change up your workout routine every four to six weeks. Spring is a great time to introduce new exercises by taking your workout outdoors. Try boot camp at the park, join a weekend cycling club, or try trail running.

Get a check up.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults have a cholesterol check every five years. If you are overdue, spring is the perfect time to make an appointment with your doctor to assess your overall health status.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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