The days are getting brighter, the weather drier, and that cool air entices us outside when it’s just warm enough to get outdoors without bundling up. But even though the conditions may be perfect, dusting off the trainers after a long and dark winter can be easier said than done. Luckily, we have pulled together some of the best advice to help you get back in gear.
We may feel inspired to hit the pavement and reach last years end of year target of a 10km run. Or we may have been eying up The Galtees and hoping to kickstart our spring hikes with a challenge. But starting small would be a wise first move.
We have to remember that our bodies and minds may very well have gotten a little sluggish over the winter months. Small steps to reintegrate ourselves into a concise exercise regime will help us in the long run.
Think About Your Body
Our fastest pace has likely not been challenged in a short while, so we have to remember not to overestimate what we can achieve on our first run with the well-worn trainers. We may be as worn as those beloved runners are! Ease your way into exercise by setting limits and knowing what you are capable of.
Slowly bring yourself back to exercise by helping your muscles readjust to movements you expect of your body as you walk, climb, and hike your way back to springtime. Forgetting to do this may see more muscle cramps and tenderness than you were prepared for.
Avoid High Expectations
As you allow your body to recover and strengthen after a dormant workout routine, try to avoid setting high expectations or targets. It will take a little longer to get to where you were before the winter set in. Remember, it took time for your body to slow down over the winter months, and it will take time to get your body back on a spring and summer schedule.
You may find yourself pounding the pavement and not enjoying it as much as you did before. That hillwalking route or the 5km park run can begin to feel a little stale, but there are plenty of ways to freshen up your time outdoors.
Change your route, find a walking buddy, use hand weights, increase your pace, or switch your objective. Walking, hiking, running, and cycling can all become a bit monotonous when we get stuck in a rut. But the world is full of adventure, and there is no one single way to get back in step.
Embrace the Challenge
So it’s still a little cold, there’s a 45% chance of rain, and you have a couple of episodes of your favourite series left to watch. It’s pretty tempting to stay indoors when we weigh the odds a certain way, especially after the winter months embraced us in a warm blanket by the fire. But once you have it in your mind to dust off those trainers and truly embrace the challenge, you getting outdoors can bring wonderful health benefits such as lower blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. The pros of getting outdoors will always outweigh the cons.
Make It Fun
If you’re not enjoying exercise, switch it up and find something you genuinely enjoy. If walking in the park is not for you, try taking to the hills or practice mindfulness as you walk. If cycling is proving too much of a challenge, find a scenic route for a gentle jog to see if running is more your style. However, you get outdoors, make it fun.