Spring: The Perfect Season for New Fitness Goals


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  22 comments   :  23,186 Views

One of the reasons I have managed to work out consistently for many years is that I always keep my routines fresh and interesting. For me, it's not enough to just change up my strength-training routine or running route (although I do both). I also like to set new goals to give myself something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement.
With winter behind us and the spring in full swing, now is a great time to revisit your fitness goals and try something new—especially if it involves the great outdoors. Here's what I'm doing this spring, plus a few more fitness ideas that are perfect for the season of rebirth.
5 Spring Fitness Ideas
Train for a Race
Spring is the ideal time to dust off your running shoes, hit the pavement and train for a race. Whether you're walking, running or a combination of the two, the weather is perfect. Plus now is the time to start training for late spring and summer races.  Having a deadline like a race date looming over you might be all the motivation you need to stop hitting snooze each morning and make your workouts a priority. SparkPeople's Running Center has everything you need to get started (training plans for all levels, running tips and more). Our next Virtual Race is coming up soon, too (stay tuned).
Bike It
Spring is the perfect time to bring your bike out of hibernation, whether you like to bike casually on a local trail or more seriously by competing in races or even commuting to work. My new goal for spring is to bike to work at least one day per week. My first commute on Monday was a success! Although I was dreading it when I woke up that morning, I had tuned up my bike and familiarized myself with the rules of the road (safety first), so my commute to work was fun and energizing—the perfect way to start the day! I'm hoping that my weekly commute by bike will become a regular, even a more frequent, part of my active lifestyle.
Hit the Trail
I like hiking and running on trails throughout the spring and summer. The scenery is breathtaking, the air is crisp and clean, and the atmosphere is so refreshing. Each summer I compete in a series of trail races—something I look forward to every year. It really brings life back into my running program and challenges my muscles in new ways. Whether you run, hike or bike on trails, let this be your reminder to get back to nature. Here are more good reasons to add trails to your fitness routine, plus a list of 10 items to bring with you when you hike.
Perfect a Sport
Do you have a desire to get outdoors this spring but don't know where to begin? Do walking, running or biking simply not appeal to you? Then why not try your hand at a spring sport like tennis, softball, golf or kayaking! When you enjoy a sport and work to perfect your skills, the activity hardly seems like a workout despite having major calorie-burning and health-boosting benefits. Look for lessons with a pro in your area, join an amateur adult league (if you're the least bit competitive, it'll be a kick in the butt to motivate you to stay active and in shape), or play recreationally with friends or your family. Check out how many calories these common spring sports burn!
Bring Your Workout Outdoors
One fun way to liven up your exercise routine is to take your typical work out outside. Treadmill runner? Hit the streets for your jog. Love kettlebells? Bring them to your backyard. Class regular? Look for outdoor boot camp classes in your area. Sometimes just changing your scenery can do wonders for your motivation. Try a goal to exercise outdoors (however possible) once or twice a week this spring.

Spring is synonymous with rebirth. Take advantage of this lively season by injecting a little fun back into your fitness routine. Whatever goals you choose, share them with someone for accountability. I told everyone at work about my bike-to-work goal, and it's by far going to be the biggest motivator. Had I kept it to myself, it's likely that I wouldn't stick with it. Tell anyone who will listen (even share your goals in the comments below) and you'll be that much closer to recreating yourself and your future.
Have you set a new fitness goal this spring? What is your favorite way to burn calories and get fit during the warmer months?

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    Being that I work as a leasing specialist for a large apartment complex, my daily exercises come from posting notices on each of 288 units that we have, which includes going up and down stairs.
    Basically getting paid to exercise. - 3/29/2015   10:49:07 AM
  • 21
    Joined your 10min/day challenge. Great incentive. - 4/9/2012   10:05:15 PM
    I just finish my 27.2 mile run! And happy Easter everybody! - 4/8/2012   5:27:37 PM
  • 123ELAINE456
    Thank You for your very inspirational Blog. God Bless Yoy and Have a Wonderful Week. Have a Blessed Happy Easter and enjoyable day. - 4/8/2012   6:11:29 AM
  • 18
    Thanks for your blog.
    I've seen or met many people who make a living just being a "Motivator" and giving presentations.
    YOU, young lady, are among the most fascinating 'Motivators' I've ever had the chance to be around (on Spark) on a consistent basis.
    You may not be a Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Ken Blanchard, Dave Ramsey or Spencer Johnson (the other author for "One Minute Manager, etc."), yet, but you have inspired more people than anyone I can think of below that Super Group, and you seem so much more approachable then they (they are all just a bit intimidating).
    - 4/7/2012   4:44:48 PM
    Today I got 2nd place in my age divion in Big Bunny Fun Run 5k - 4/7/2012   4:03:41 PM
  • 16
    I've been looking forward to jogging! I'm not sure that I want to do a race, but my motivation for getting out and jogging is the beautiful scenery (I live near a lake), the pride and energy I feel afterwards, and the way my legs look after only a few weeks! ;)
    Happy Spring Exercising! - 4/7/2012   2:17:30 PM
    I was very disappointed with this past winter. We were going to try snowshoeing, but we didn't get enough snow where we live. Getting ready to start golfing again. Plus, we are going to try kayaking this year. Just got my husbands kayak today. Can't wait to get mine! - 4/7/2012   12:41:18 PM
  • 14
    Great blog, but I'm in a little different situation. I've been ill with a major infection so when I start back to exercising, it's going to have to be a little at a time. I belong to a gym very close to my house so I will be able to go there for light cardio. But I'm not going to do very much until I'm cleared by my doctor. - 4/7/2012   8:18:20 AM
  • 13
    yep - signed up for 10 sessions with the very nice personal trainer at my g ym. gonna learn about free weights! - 4/7/2012   6:54:05 AM
  • 12
    I've changed my routine to include the SP 28-day bootcamp DVD programme. I'm in the southern hemisphere so we're heading into autumn, so unfortunately don't get to spring anywhere, more like fall all over the place! Still get outside for walks come rain or shine, but it's good to have something you can do indoors as well! :) - 4/7/2012   12:31:44 AM
  • 11
    I so do agree. I have a nice long hike planned. Fill my backpack with something to drink, my clean meal and my bible. I want to start my early morning runs when it gets hot. I am walking now. I also want to run an 8k. I've done a 5k and a 10k. Also want to swim laps in my pool. Love those virtual races that sparks does...........keep them coming... - 4/6/2012   5:35:23 PM
  • 10
    I love walking. Maybe I should look into a race which allows both walking and running....hmmm. :-) - 4/6/2012   3:16:21 PM
    One of my goals this year was to run my second 1/2 marathon, the Music City Marathon but I hurt my foot from wearing new running shoes. Now that I'm healed up it's too late to start training for the Music City soooooo.... I think I'm going to sign up for a 5k and try to beat my last personal record! So excited! - 4/6/2012   2:04:14 PM
  • 8
    My Spring Goal is to train and participate in my first 5K -- hopefully the FosterCare 5K in May. (and to lose 10 pounds in April, then 10 more in May). I'm also training for the Susan G. Komen 3-day 60 mile walk for October... but that will bring us into fall goals :-)

    Great Article! - 4/6/2012   11:34:35 AM
    Tomorrow, I'm running in Big Bunny Fun Run! And ILLionis State Marathon on the 28th! Last 5 years I ran in Boston Marathon! But, I didn't make in this year! I qualfity for Boston! But wasn't fast! - 4/6/2012   9:59:06 AM
  • 6
    I'm doing a 1/2 marathon in June! I haven't done one in years, so I'm excited! - 4/6/2012   9:36:59 AM
  • 5
    This is just what I needed. I'm halfway to my weight loss goal and have started to slide a bit with my fitness. As of now, I'm stopping the excuses and challenging myself to another 28 days of bootcamp - DVD, starting to run outside, hiking.Thanks for the reminder Nicole! - 4/6/2012   8:40:27 AM
  • 4
    sub 4:15 marathon or bust. I can run a half marathon in 1:52, it is so very sad that my marathon PR is 4:24. - 4/6/2012   7:38:54 AM
  • 3
    signed up last week for an October half-marathon! and yesterday for a 10 k in 5 weeks. i have been out looking for spring in the prettiest parks in Paris and finding it everywhere. - 4/6/2012   7:27:42 AM
    My big goal is to run a half marathon this year. To work up to this, I have few 10k races this spring thru late summer......
    With spring in the air, I have been able to start running outdoors again, which I love! I have also made a goal to start lap swimming again. - 4/6/2012   7:18:26 AM
  • 1
    Thanks for the inspiration. My goal for this spring/summer is to walk all the walking trails here in my county. We have several types of trails here in city parks, county parks and greenways, state parks and national forests. My goal is to walk them all at least once. - 4/6/2012   6:47:51 AM

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