Spring Into Fitness!

Spring is the perfect time of year to improve your fitness – especially if you’ve been hunkering down all winter long. But if you think that means you have to shell out big bucks for a gym membership or Pilates classes, think again. Here are seven easy ways to integrate more exercise into your daily life this spring – without setting foot in a gym!

  1. Play with your kids. Your children can be a great incentive to exercise. Instead of plugging them into an iPad when you have some downtime, plan fun outdoor activities like swimming, bike riding, hiking, or hitting the monkey bars in the park. You’ll both benefit from the exercise – and the chance to bond.
  1. Take the scenic route. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Doing some shopping? Park in a spot that’s as far from the store entrance as possible so you can get a little extra walking in. When you ride the bus or the subway, get off one or two stops early and walk the extra distance to your destination.
  1. Lift waits. When waiting in line at the grocery store or the bank, try flexing your abs for 10-30 seconds at a time. Stuck in a really long line? Try doing it 10 times in a row. Not only will it make the time pass, it’s a quick and easy way to work your core without anyone noticing.
  1. Skip the shopping cart. If you don’t have a huge shopping list, skip the cart and use two reusable bags to carry your groceries. Carrying two heavy bags is a great workout – and a great way to get your grocery shopping done for the week.
  1. Add 15 minutes to your dog’s walk. If you’re already in the habit of walking your dog every day, try adding 15 minutes to your usual route. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try power walking or jogging those extra steps. Bonus: Your dog will probably love it!
  1. Volunteer for a community-service project. Community-service projects – like building a home with Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up a park, or working in a public garden –are a great way to add some activity to your weekends while improving the lives of those around you. And if you spend the whole day moving around, it definitely counts as a workout!
  1. Turn your chores into a workout. It’s relatively easy to turn your big household chores into exercise. Try washing the car by hand rather than taking it to the car wash. Got a big lawn? Leave the John Deere in the garage and use a push mower instead. It may take a little longer, but at least you’ll have gotten in some exercise for the day!

Remember to always consult a medical professional before making any drastic changes to your exercise routine – especially if you take any regular medications. Here’s to your fittest, most fantastic spring yet!

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