several women in fitness class lying down on forearms
Source: CareerFit Mom

5 fitness tips for a more active spring

Small habit changes make a big difference over time

Now that the last April snow has (hopefully) fallen, it’s a great time to swap out the winter boots for some running shoes and dust off the fitness routines that got forgotten over the winter. What could be better motivation than longer, sunny days and warm weather?

For some tips to get you in shape for summertime, we talked to Beth Yarzab, head coach and owner of CareerFitMom—a community of East Toronto exercisers who often raise funds for Michael Garron Hospital.

1. Get outside! Take advantage of the longer days to get out for a walk, participate in a boot camp or maybe train for a running event.

2. Play fit! If you have kids who you take to the park, start engaging with them through games or chase them around the green space. Lunges, push-ups, squats, and tricep dips are great to do nearby while they’re playing. Don’t sit at your child’s soccer game. Grab another parent and watch while you walk laps around the field. Be an active role model for your kids and other adults too.

3. HIIT it up! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it builds your cardio and muscular strength through short periods of intense exercise. You can reap major physiological and mental benefits in a much faster workout. Remember high intensity means something different to everybody, so adjust your intervals based on your level. It’s best to take a class with a certified fitness professional who offers modifications based on your abilities. That way you’ll stay injury free and see positive results in your body quickly.

4. Find an accountability partner! Having a buddy commit to an exercise program with you will make it way more fun and way easier to stay motivated. Go to a class together or plan workout dates each week. You can even hire a personal trainer and share the cost.

5. Fitness is NEAT! Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is a powerful way to become more active and burn calories outside of your “workout” times. Essentially all the activities you do outside of sleeping and eating that can add movement to your daily life. Take the stairs, go for walking meetings, park further away and walk...I just started doing as many squats as minutes I’ll be driving in my car! These small habit changes make a big difference over time.