Oye. Bathing suit season. Not really outside but in the stores…although it is supposed to get to 60 degrees today.
I’m so not ready for this. “Neither is my body,” I say…wiping mac n’ cheese off of my shirt. Comfort food is comfortable. Bikinis are not.
Guess I have to consider shaking off the winter blahs (and that extra padding I might have accumulated over the past few months) and take a cue from nature…animals come out of hibernation, flowers breaking through the frozen Earth, swimsuit models frolicking on exotic beaches…OK, maybe not that last one. They’re not natural.
Here are seven easy springtime strategies from body-soul health and fitness experts Brant Secunda and Mark Allen.
- “Spring up” your diet. Indigenous people who live close to nature eat seasonally. It’s a healthy way to eat that naturally helps you shed those winter pounds and make you feel light and springy. Seek out foods that are fresh this time of year, such as green leafy salads with sprouts and radishes; strawberries and baby asparagus; and seasonal fish and shellfish.
- Commit to outdoor time. Scientists have proven what shamans have known for millennia: being outdoors in nature makes people happier, calmer, healthier, and more energetic. Make a conscious effort to spend at least 30 minutes outside daily doing anything. You’ll feel significantly less stressed, more connected, and more energetic.
- Try something new. Springtime is a time for renewal. To get into the mood of change and forward momentum, try a new sport or an old one you haven’t done for a long time. Often, when we engage in new activities, it’s especially motivating. The more types of activities you engage in, the more energetic you’ll feel.
- Spring into a new eating routine. Did you get into a carb habit over the winter? Try this: For one week, cut out all sweets, pasta, and breads. Then slowly add more carbs back in–but only complex carbs with lots of fiber (whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, beans, etc.). Notice how much lighter you feel.
- Refresh an old workout routine. Don’t let workout boredom squelch your motivation to get in shape. Change your workout course. Do the familiar course in the opposite direction, find a workout partner, or work out at a different time of day.
- Take a springtime trip. Pick a wildly beautiful place in nature. Schedule a weekend to go camping or hiking. Or simply take some extended time to relax in a wonderful outdoor place where spring is showing its colors and beauty. Taking a trip in nature will jumpstart your springtime energy and will shake off the hard work, restlessness, and stagnation from winter.
- Accept that challenge is normal. Lots of us this time of year look in the mirror and think, “I’ll never get in shape by swimsuit season.” Think of a fragile crocus pushing its way up through the frozen earth. Challenge is a normal part of striving, growing, and overcoming obstacles. Realizing this will help you manage your fear and negativity and propel you forward.
OK, so according to #7, I will fit into that bikini that I saw in Macy’s yesterday. Happy day.