When the first fine days of spring beckon, you can feel the fresh breath of motivation in the air.
Spring is a great opportunity to start fine-tuning your wellbeing habits and getting into good mental and physical shape for summer.
But for many, getting back into lighter eating and an exercise routine can seem daunting after the heavy winter break.
What I’d like to offer you are some simple ways to kick-start some good physical and mental habits for Spring that will help you to feel lighter, happier and energised.
Step 1: Increase Your Mental Energy
Manage your energy, not your time by creating a schedule that eliminates stress.
To get the most out of your day and feel good, you want sustained and steady energy. Lack of energy can sabotage your health and productivity in so many ways.
There’s plenty you of things you can do to have steady, sustained all-day energy that will help you focus better, perform better in the gym and get the most out of your day.
I have outlined a few lifestyle factors that will help to support your energy:
- Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to optimize your energy levels.
- Getting insufficient sleep, on the other hand, can really mess up and crash your energy. Aim for eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep nightly.
Minimize energy spikes
- Be mindful of your caffeine intake, while caffeine can boost your energy, too much can lead to “crash and burn” leaving you wanting more.
- Alcohol can also affect your energy levels and mood the next morning. So, consume wisely.
Supporting your mental health and calming anxiety will help your confidence and boost productivity.
I use an app called CALM in the evenings and during the day to calm anxiety.
This app has a Calming Anxiety track and other meditations that are aimed at improving confidence, breaking habits, and boosting happiness. They even have an Emergency Calm meditation that you can use when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Step 2: Increase Your Physical Energy
Exercise is literally Food for your Mood!
- If you who want spring into shape for summer cardio exercise is the most important step to being lean and toned.
- Additionally, aerobic exercise strengthens the most important muscle in the body, the heart.
- Cardio also helps to uncover the muscle underlying the subcutaneous fat.
Recommended Frequency: 3-5 days a week for 20-60 minutes each session.
- Resistance training will improve your body’s fat-burning capability during cardiovascular exercise by preventing muscle loss and accelerating fat loss.
Recommended Frequency: 2-3 days/week for 20-30mins each session.
Being Flexible like a cat is not only sexy but is important in the maintenance of functional range of motion and yes, injury prevention too.
A lack of stretching, especially when combined with activity can lead to a fatigue induced soft tissue shortening over time.
Additional benefits of a regular stretching routine:
- Increased neuromuscular coordination
- Return of muscle to natural resting state
- Modifying blood pooling, recirculation
Recommended Frequency: Daily after exercise session for 10-15 minutes each session.
- Maintain the stretch position for 30 seconds to begin but 1-2 minutes is ideal.
- Repeat twice
Step 3: Increase your mood with the right food
Let’s consider the food-brain connection: like so many aspects of brain health, your mood is directly affected by what you put in your mouth.
A healthy diet for spring should be loaded with wholesome, ideally unprocessed food and meet your specific needs.
The diets of communities who live the longest, such as those in Okinawa, Japan, have a high representation of vegetables in their diet which provide a variety of phytonutrients, antioxidants and flavonoids.
Their diets are low in red meat, but high in fish and rich in ‘functional foods’ such as herbs and spices.
Here are some tips:
Fish : Eating two or more serves of fish per week can reduce the risk of a range of diseases including dementia, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Cereals and wholegrain foods : Common cereal foods include bread, breakfast cereals and pasta.
Herbs : Use herbs to enhance the flavour of virtually any dish, including desserts.
Nuts and seeds : Nuts are a healthy food and a good source of protein and healthy fats.
Fats and oils : Animal products and processed foods like fried fast food are generally high in saturated fats.
What does this mean for you?
Today is a chance to invest in your wellbeing – to commit to a little bit more than you did yesterday, a little bit better, a little bit more effectively each day.
I have a really important question for you.
- What would be your next step in something you want to change?
Today is the day to start changing it. Today is the day to start making it happen.
You deserve to reach your goals as soon as possible. Control today and you control your life.
The Carousel would like to thank Irena Geller for her contribution.