The Couch Potato Greets Spring – Getting Active Again

The Couch Potato Greets Spring – Getting Active Again

It’s finally Spring. You’ve Spent the entire winter assaulted with the bitterly cold wind chills and bundling up similar to the Michelin man in multiple layers, searching for the necessities of going outdoors in the winter – gloves, hats, inner layers, outer layers, wool socks, and the list can go on and on Or worse, you’ll become a shut-in, leaving exercise by the wayside as you hibernated on the couch. All thoughts of being outside were put aside until the temperature gauge read something above 60 degrees. New Year’s resolutions are easily forgotten as soon as the first wintery blast, or foot of snow, is
laid at your doorstep.

However, Spring brings the ideas of rebirth, or revival, to more things than just the grass and greening of trees. As the temperature rises, so does the motivation to go outside and be active again. The hurdle for being active is reduced. You no longer have to spend 45 minutes just getting bundled up or going to the store to buy yet another pair of mittens to replace the lost pair. The gym, whose membership seemed a necessity in January, but yet too much of hassle to go to in February, can be a forgotten memory. Being active in Spring, and using the energy low carb provides, is made just that much easier.

When I first started getting active at still over 400 pounds, the best I could do was walk around the block. I’d stop often to stretch my calves and shins due to shin splints. I was happy enough just to be outside the house, instead of stuck inside, in my recliner, due to lack of energy. I once again got to see people in my neighborhood. As the ice left the roads, and the pounds came off, I picked up biking. I purchased a cheap bike and went for a ride.

While I am sure I exceeded the stated weight limit for the bike, and my body felt the ache for days afterward, I found the freedom I was looking for. Seeing my neighborhood only from a car to and from work, I had missed most of what my neighborhood had to offer — the sights, sounds, and smells that can only be had outside the cocoon of one’s vehicle. Biking also had the benefit of being faster and less impactful than running — allowing me to see more with less effort.

In addition to biking and walking, here are some other great ideas of how to be active in spring

exercise - hiking - getting active again
Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash
Going hiking or trail walking
Find a listing of your local trails, preferably ones attached to your local park systems. I loved going outside with my kids to a local state park and seeing the wildlife (birds, squirrels, rabbits, even deer) roaming the park. Hiking usually has the extra benefit of hills and uneven footwork, which adds to the workout. There are usually many state parks within an hour drive of most locations, and you can get a break from the city or road noise with the fresh air. Prior to losing the weight, I never had the energy to enjoy nature like this.

Exercising on the Beach
Most people who know me know that I am, above other activities, a runner. Spring represents the time for most runners to start setting their yearly race schedule. Pick your goal race, whether that be a 5k, or a full marathon, and start your training plan for that race. Spring also has the benefit for runners as not being too hot nor too cold, so dressing to the weather is never easier.

exercise - yoga - getting active again
Yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility, get more strength, improve your concentration, get improved posture, and better your breathing. Most people think of Yoga as an in your living room or in a gym activity; however, many communities begin a “Yoga in the Park” activity during this time of the year. Or simply take your own yoga mat outside, and do it by yourself in your backyard.

exercise - swimming - getting active again
Photo by Tilly Jensen on Unsplash
Swimming is a fantastic full body, low impact workout. Hit the beach and use that energy your ketogenic diet is giving you. It also gives you a chance to show off your new body to others and how far you’ve come. It is also a great activity for those just starting their weight loss journey as there is very little chance to damage one’s joints.

Spring Cleaning
Spring also generally brings with it the time to start cleaning up one’s domicile. All those yard activities that were put off for winter or due to being covered with snow are now back on the schedule. Activities, like mowing the lawn, tilling and planting the garden, or cleaning the house, are definitely exercise and will help improve one’s fitness. These activities might not be fun for all, but they are still great ways to be outside and away from winter’s couch.

exercise - frisbee - other activities - getting active again
Photo by Stefano Zocca on Unsplash
Other Recreational Sports (Golf, volleyball, Frisbee Golf, Geo-caching)
The list of activities could go on and on and is only limited by one’s interest or creativity. The importance is simply to be outside and breaking free from the winter rut you developed in the previous months.

One word of caution

One word of caution for those athletes who did lay dormant over the winter months — don’t expect to resume your exercise or activity at the same level you left it. Give your body time to adjust to the activity again, and whatever pounding or aches might occur the first few times out. enjoy the feeling of being outdoors and being active again, and leave talk of “personal bests” or grueling workouts for after you’ve acclimated yourself back. The worst thing you could do is put yourself on the DL (injury list) due to coming back too much too soon.

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