How I Plan to Ditch My Lazy Winter Habits

Posted 04/13/12 at 11:42AM by Audrey Fine

I received a question the other day from Susan in Maine who pretty much summed up the way that I (and I'm sure many of you) are feeling now that winter's over. Here's what she wrote: "Now that I can finally start to put away the sweaters and long pants I need to start exercising and get back into shape for summer. How can I ease back into a routine after a winter of bad habits ...?"

To give Susan (and myself, and YOU) some inspiration, I asked New York City-based fitness expert Brooke Marrone to chime in. Here are her tips for getting back in the saddle -- and swimsuit.

"The most important thing to do right now is to make realistic goals -- and start slow. Going from 0 to 60 is a good way to set yourself up for setbacks, failure, and injury. For the first few weeks, ease back into your workouts with small, attainable goals. After a few successful weeks of getting to the gym and reaching the initial goals you set for yourself, start taking things up a notch and adding a few days to your workout schedule. Here are some other rules to workout by:

1. Make a schedule -- but feel free to vary the times of your workout. Life is hectic and workouts can easily get pushed aside without proper planning. You also don't want to feel like you're giving up your social life to hit the gym. It's all about compromise. On the days have to work late or have plans with friends, get yourself up in the morning to get your exercise out of the way. On the nights when your pals are home with their DVRs and you get off work at a decent hour, hit the gym on the way home. That way, you can have the best of both worlds and you won't have to choose between the gym and your social life.

2. Have fun with your workouts and mix it up. Try working on different things on different days, alternating your cardio, flexibility, and strength training. Also, take a class, get outside when you can, and find a friend to join you in your workouts. There are a lot of options out there to keep things fresh and fun. Your body will get just as bored as your brain if you don't mix up your exercise routine.

3. Reward yourself! All work and no play is no fun. Reward yourself for all your hard work with some new workout clothes or a massage. It's added motivation to know at the end of a hard week of sticking to your exercise plan you get to treat yourself.

4. Find workouts you really enjoy. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, but exercise doesn't always have to be tedious and terrible. Try a bunch of classes and teachers, see which ones you like best, and go from there. If there is a sport you are good at and enjoy playing, look into joining a league or getting a group of friends together and forming one yourself. The most important thing is that you are staying active and moving your body -- and you don't need to be in a gym to get that done. And, who knows, with a little luck you might even start to look forward to your next workout."

For Brooke's tips on how to overhaul your heavy winter eating habits for spring, click here
And the survey says...
1-6 of 6 Comments

  • Posted by GigiSD on 05/10/13 at 09:10pm

    Excellent tips! I tried to "jump" back into my exercise routine after hurting my foot and was reminded to take it slowly.

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  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/29/12 at 01:27pm

    Thanks

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 06/18/12 at 09:41pm

    Awesome advice! I'm really trying to find different activities that I enjoy, since I'm getting bored with my usual gym routine. I really want exercise to be a way of life, not just a temporary thing.

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  • Posted by alictasia on 06/06/12 at 05:02pm

    Doing workouts I enjoy is the only way I can stick to my routine. It's just too easy to skip that job if I am running short of time.

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by Nicole2814 on 04/26/12 at 04:58pm

    great

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by LittleBunny on 04/17/12 at 10:50am

    It's important to stay fit all year long

    Report Abuse

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