By Kelly Lewis
It’s official! We’ve sprung forward and now our days are longer and the sun shines brighter. As I reflect on this time of year, I’m reminded that there’s something about springtime that lightens our spirit and energizes our hearts in a way that only this beautiful season can. If you suffer from seasonal depression or the winter blues, spring is the perfect time to turn the corner towards a healthier you, both emotionally and physically. Here are five easy (and free!) ways to get that “spring” in your step:
- Beautify your yard: With winter behind us, it’s high time to spruce up our yards and landscaping for spring and summer. Naturally, more active yard activities like pushing a lawn mower and raking will burn the most calories and bring you a fitness benefit. However, don’t be discouraged if you need to start with fewer physical activities like planting flowers and pulling weeds. You can easily transition into more challenging work as you feel your stamina improve. One of the amazing benefits of working in the yard is that after you complete your task, you have a fabulous finished product to enjoy for the months to come!
- Take a walk: One of the perks of these extended days of sunlight is that it opens up the opportunity for a delightful evening walk. I’d encourage you to take advantage of the beautiful season that is upon us. Step outside and take a stroll. Better yet, start with a leisurely pace and work your way up to a power walk. Spend some time alone, or invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to join you! For mothers of young children, load those babies up and start a stroller club! Dogs love walks, too! Whether you like to exercise by yourself, or with a companion, walking is a fantastic way to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Engage your kids: We live in a very fast-paced society, where every minute in our lives is scheduled. Less and less do we witness fathers and sons playing catch in the front yard or moms spending a relaxed day at the park with her little one. I’d like to suggest that we can reclaim some of these more “old-fashioned” activities. Engaging with our children through physical activity is an important part of the developmental process in our children. So…take those babies for a walk, play with your toddler on the playground, kick a soccer ball with your child, or shoot some hoops with your teen. Not only will you reap the physical rewards, but your relationship will benefit as well.
- Participate in a 5K: This suggestion is going to stretch some of you. Just the idea of a 5K is enough to get your heart racing for all of the wrong reasons. But the truth is that you can participate in the unique experience that is a 5K without running! There are always many participants at an event like this who walk every step of the route. Looking for a 5K to get involved with? Check out local magazines, blogs and event calendars for a race that is near and dear to your heart. If you really want to have fun with it, gather up a few friends and create a spirited team, complete with matching outfits. The zanier the better! And don’t forget to walk regularly for a few weeks leading up to the big day. That will ensure your success and your safety.
- Take a ride: A bike ride, that is. Adults and children alike love the feeling of freedom that a bike ride brings. We are so fortunate to have many beautiful and safe locations for family bike rides in our local area. Tanglewood and Salem Lake are two of my family’s favorite bike riding destinations. One of the greatest joys of bike riding is that babies through senior adults can enjoy this activity. Smooth and easy or rocky and challenging, there’s a ride out there for everyone. Pack a healthy picnic and make a day of it. Before you know it you will have made some memorable moments and participated in a healthy family activity.
I hope that these five suggestions inspire you to enjoy the beautiful spring season. After that final winter snow, we all look forward to the warmth of spring, and you don’t want to miss a thing. So, get out there and get that “spring” in your step. You’ll be glad you did. Until next month…be positive, be active and be well.
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