Shake Up Your Workout Routine This Spring

Earlier this month I wrote a blog post for HIH discussing five different ways to ‘spring clean’ your diet in preparation for the warmer months ahead. Well, I thought I would continue with the theme of ‘new season, new me’ and talk about some great ways to switch up your workout routine as well.

As we all can agree, sticking to a consistent workout routine during the cold, winter months is challenging to say the least. Venturing outside for anything that isn’t truly necessary (basically for things other than work) is the last thing we want to do. Well, the good news is – spring is officially here, and summer is only months away. Days are starting to feel longer and longer, and the warm weather makes going outside enjoyable again. (Hallelujah!)

Here are 5 super simple and very effective ways you can switch up your workouts (or generally increase your activity if you’ve found yourself in a rut over the winter) now that the warm weather is finally here.

1.     Get outside

This one might be a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that just because you’re not sweating it out in a gym or a spin studio, doesn’t mean you’re not getting a super awesome workout. And there’s no better workout than one that’s in nature, especially now the weather is on our side. Here are some great ways to get sweaty outside:

  • Run (bonus points if it’s along a lakeshore or in a trail)
  • Bike
  • Hike
  • Roller Blading
  • Bootcamp at your local park
  • Join a run club
  • Slacklining
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Soccer

Take your workouts outdoors and I promise you, your body and mind will thank you for it.

2.     Try some different workouts

If you’re anything like me, then your full-time gym is likely pretty close to where you either live or work, making it as convenient as possible to get to. Makes sense, right? After all, convenience is key when it comes to having a consistent workout routine. Well, the warm weather is a great excuse to explore the other gyms or studios in your city. So, make a point to check out some new places during the warmer months. (Bonus points if you walk, bike or run to each one.)

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If you’re in Toronto or any large city for that matter, ClassPass is a fantastic way to experience some new and different workouts in your area. Pilates, Barre, Spin, Yoga, Bootcamps, Dance classes - there is really something for everyone, and not only does it stop you from getting bored with your workout, but it allows you to explore more of your city as well. It’s a win-win.

3.     Sign-up for a run

 If you’ve always wanted to take part in an organized run, then here you go, this is your push to finally do it. I’ve ran in probably close to 40 runs so far in my life, and I can honestly say, they are always worth it! If you’re a new runner, start with maybe a 5k or 7k run, if you are a more experienced runner, sign-up for a 10k or 15k, and if you’re ready for more of a challenge, it’s time to check half-marathon, 30k or full marathon off your list.

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Rain or shine, they are such a fun way to come together with a group of people and push your limits. The energy is electric, the community is incredibly supportive and the endorphins you get at the finish line are like no other. Plus, organized runs are such a great motivator to get outside and train. After all, if you’re signing yourself for a 10k, you are going to want to train and feel good come race day. If you’re unsure where to start, simply google “10k Training Schedule”, for example, and there are lots of options out there to choose from.

4.     Don’t be afraid of the weight room

This one is mainly for the ladies, but girls, please don’t be afraid of throwing some weight around. You want to build curves and look sexy in that bikini? Lift weights. Seriously, it’s a simple as that. Cardio is a fantastic way to increase and maintain your cardiovascular ability, but it will not provide you those curves that you might be looking for. I can guarantee you, lifting weights will not make you look bulky or masculine – you’d have to be doing A LOT of other things as well for that to happen.

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If the weight room intimidates you a little, which is very normal, then here are a few tips to get you more comfortable in the gym:

  • Go with a friend who is more experienced than you. She or he can show you around and give you some tips on proper form, weight room etiquette etc.
  • Consider a female only gym – Elle Fitness in downtown Toronto is fantastic, has an awesome culture and vibe and offers some kick-ass weight lifting classes. Try and find something like that in your area.
  • Hire a personal trainer. When I first started lifting heavy weights, I hired a PT for sessions once a week. I was never really scared to go into a weight room, but I wanted to be more confident in my lifts and learn correct form, in particular with various Olympic lifts. A personal trainer will work one-on-one with you, show you the ins-and-outs of weight lifting and give you that extra confidence you need to step into a weight room and kill your workouts! 

5.     Find an accountability partner

Last, but not least, if you’re looking to get out of a winter rut and get into a new workout routine, then find someone who you can partner with and hold each other accountable. Whether it be a friend, colleague, family member or someone you hit it off within your running group, find someone who has the same goals you have and use each other to get your daily sweat on.