After the past year now is as good a time as any to sit down and take a look at where you are fitness-wise and make some shifts. Maybe it’s adding an extra few miles to your weekly runs or ditching the blue band at Boot-Camp for the purple one. It also might be time to set a new goal.
Whatever you decide, here are 3 tips to help you kick-start your workouts.
On your next run, walk or hike, give yourself 5 minutes to warm up and then count down 3-2 and on 1 move faster to a certain point, say the rocks, a stop sign, or that blue car. When you get there, reduce your speed for 3 minutes to catch your breath and do it again. Do to 3 to 5 intervals total during your workout. Aim to do this once or twice a week.
You don’t have to sprint but the effort should be one that when you get to your mark, you are breathing heavy. After a few weeks, increase the distance of your intervals but just a little. This will make you stronger and more efficient.
People have a tendency to mistake pain for discomfort when they work out. Holding a plank, doing pushups, and getting low in a wall sit can become uncomfortable very quickly. That burning you feel? That’s just your muscles working and the fatigue setting in but it’s temporary. Once you stop the activity, it’s gone.
So the next time you feel burning, fatigue, or discomfort, don’t drop out. Take a deep breath and dig in. You’re stronger than you think, so show up and claim it. You should, however, stop AT ANY TIME is if you feel a sharp pain, pop, snap, or if you feel that there’s been an obvious injury.
Do Something Hard
Whether it’s registering for a half-marathon, a Spartan Race, signing up for a 60 day Body Burn workout program, or simply going on a hike that’s longer, steeper, or harder than you normally attempt, I urge you to drag yourself outside of your comfort zone and just do it.
Because achieving something that you didn’t think you were capable of doing is so powerful. And sure, when you agree to the race or sign up for the workout program you might not be physically able to do the task, but even being open to the training or the experience lands you in the win column. Saying “yes” puts you in an action mindset, one that shifts you immediately into a person who is “in training”. This alone can change the way you think about yourself and that, in turn, can be life-altering.
It’s Spring. A season for renewal and growth.
Now go run!