Spring is Here and it’s Time to Get Outside.
How to Stay Healthy in 2012.
There is no better time to get in shape than the beginning of the spring season. Whereas most New Years resolutions die out in January, on account of low motivation, shortened days, and a natural temptation for carbohydrates, the warmer temperatures and longer days of spring promote greater health and continued fitness in many individuals. There are several health-related perks that come with the arrival of spring’s more favorable weather conditions.
Fitness Doesn’t Need to Cost a Dime
There are two great ways to get in shape and stay healthy during spring and the warmer months which require virtually no out-of-pocket expenses. The first, and perhaps most popular, is to take advantage of local outdoor fitness paths and attractions. An increasingly common sight in cities and towns throughout the country, these trails are typically scenic paths through parks, nature preserves, and waterfronts.
If the winter “blahs” have been keeping you inside, or cold temperatures have made a pair of gym shorts seem like a joke, the time is now to go for an outdoor run at a local park. The sunlight will rejuvenate the mind, and the jog will jumpstart a lagging winter metabolism.
The second great way to get in shape for little to no cost is to participate in a local club sport. These clubs are typically run by sports enthusiasts who have a passion for the game, and they generally charge a low admission fee or none at all. On top of this, spring sports clubs are a great way to make new friends in the community and meet people who are just as dedicated to athletic and fitness as you are. Their competitiveness will drive your motivation higher, as you get in better shape and strive to maintain excellent health.
Healthy Eating Promotes Healthy Living, No Matter the Season
Of course, no amount of outdoor exercise in the spring months will be able to compensate for a poor diet once you have left the game or the jogging path behind. Maintaining a healthy diet throughout the year not only promotes maintenance of a healthy weight, but also the loss of additional fat. And, for those who are particularly active throughout the year, a proper diet is the best way to ensure a quick recovery from muscle strain and soreness, and to ensure that new muscles are built quickly and efficiently by the body.
For those who seek to maintain a healthy diet, there are a few key rules to keep in mind. First and foremost, no specific group of nutrients should ever be off the table: the maxim “all things in moderation” is the key to a healthy diet that can be used for long-term success.
A healthy diet should be low in fats; any fats consumed by a healthy individual should be healthy fatty acids such as those found in fish or certain nuts and vegetables. Diets should necessarily be high in protein, especially for active individuals. Abundant protein is the key to repairing muscles after a long workout, and it will help the body build new muscle as it engages in the recovery process.
Finally, don’t be afraid to indulge in carbohydrates every now and then. The body requires it for energy, and they’re a great way to last long on the playing field or add an extra mile to the daily jog. Carbohydrates should always be kept complex, however: that means choosing whole wheat bread and pasta over their whiter, more refined alternatives. These complex sources of carbohydrates are key sources of protein and fiber, and they’ll promote a healthy metabolism, a healthy heart, and overall good health.
Use the Change of Seasons as an Excuse to Change Your Lifestyle
If the motivation to commit to a healthy lifestyle change has been lacking in recent months, the warmer and longer days of spring are the perfect excuse to get the ball rolling on new habits. Get out of the house, jog through a park, and join a sports club that will introduce you to fellow healthy eaters and exercisers. Pair that with a balanced diet and controlled caloric intake, and you’ll find the success is essentially self-perpetuating — as well as gratifying.