By Megan Tomaszewski
While it may seem like we’re stuck in a never-ending winter, spring is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your health and exercise routine (or to simply start one).
Why wait for summer to roll around when you can jump-start your fitness goals now? Spring is the perfect transitional season to help you shake off those winter blues and, well, spring into action with a renewed sense of invigoration and focus. Here’s a few of our favorite things about spring that aren’t just great for your physical health, but promoting mental and emotional wellness too!
- THE SUN. For me, the worst part of winter isn’t the cold, or shoveling three feet of snow off my car (though that is up on the list), but rather the soul-sucking lack of sunshine that not only zaps my motivation to lace up my sneakers and work out, but increases feelings of depression. According to Medic Alert, decreased levels of Vitamin D can weaken our bones, immune system and even mess with nerve and muscle functions. With daylight savings comes longer exposure to sunlight, which means you’ll be feeling the boost of Vitamin D––and feeling a boost in your overall well-being.
- The great outdoors. Tying in with increased exposure to sunshine comes the opportunity to simply get outside. You may love your local gym, but you can’t deny that warmer temperatures, blooming flowers and green grass all make for a beautiful, motivating setting on a run, hike or walk––especially when your favorite trails or neighborhoods have been obscured by ice and snow all winter long. And I know that I like to go on walks on my lunch break, which can be hard in blizzarding conditions, so I welcome spring for the opportunity to get in some steps while reentering my focus away from a computer or phone screen.
- Spring clean nutrition. Spring is the perfect time for fruits and veggie lovers to stock up on fresh, local, in-season produce that is harder to come by in the colder months. And even if you still struggle to eat your veggies, spring offers you a greater variety of easy additions to make to your next meal or snack to up your nutritional game. Mangoes, strawberries, radishes, peas, dandelion greens––the possibilities are endless. So grab your favorite tote bag and hit up a local farmer’s market for a fun activity that is great for your health (and your wallet)!
- New workout clothes. Ok, this may seem superficial, but hear me out: who doesn’t feel more empowered when wearing a great pair of leggings or bright new sneakers into a workout? A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology actually introduced the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the measurable impact that one’s clothes have on their psychological processes. So when you’re spring cleaning your closet, take inventory of what workout gear you have and toss anything that doesn’t fit or doesn’t make you feel good while wearing it. Go ahead, get that new galaxy-print sports bra or spin shoes that make you feel like a million bucks. Science says it’s a good idea.
- Community focus. I remember being at college and when the first few nice days of spring hit, I felt like my campus population had tripled in size. It’s a lot more appealing to make plans and interact with others when you don’t have to pull on eight layers, and as we all emerge from our own hibernation dens, it’s the perfect time to get together for a new workout class or to explore a new park.
Spring is known as a season of growth and renewal, so why not apply the same mentality to your workout and overall health goals? What do you like best about spring with regards to your wellness? Comment and let us know!