The warmer months are fast approaching, and that means homeowners across the country will soon be preparing for the most dreaded of September traditions: the exhaustive and exhausting spring clean.
Yes, September marks that time of year when we finally wake bleary-eyed from the hibernation of the cold winter months and decide it’s high time we roll up our sleeves and prepare our homes for spring.
You can feel the dust in the air already, can’t you? But it’s not just our homes that need a refresh following a long, cold winter, is it?
Getting out of bed in the freezing, pre-dawn darkness to go to the gym feels mighty hard in the dead of winter. And returning exhausted from work after the sun has set pretty much rules out anything more active than sinking into the couch.
So let’s be honest for a moment, has your fitness routine survived winter?
Or has your exercise schedule mostly consisted of changing channels on the television and the occasional brisk walk between couch and refrigerator? Don’t worry, you’re hardly alone there. In fact, gaining a little weight in winter is so universal some studies have found it might not even be our fault.
A University of Alberta study published this year found that “insufficient sunlight exposure” promotes fat storage and contributes to winter weight gain. But the good news is that, even with just a handful of weeks left before spring is officially sprung, it’s not too late to get back into shape for the warmer months.
While most experts suggest it only takes between two weeks and a month to burn off any extra winter padding, they all agree the best approach is a slow and steady program that is sustainable in the long term.
There’s no use thorwing yourself into an Olympic-style diet and fitness routine only to find yourself sore, exhausted and half-starving days later. So here are my three super-easy ways to hack a personal spring clean.
In much the same way you wouldn’t buy your first bicycle and then enter the Tour de France, you can’t climb off the couch for the first time in months to run an ultra-marathon. you need to be honest with yourself about where your fitness is at, and that means a walk in the sunshine, taking the dog for a jog or even just getting off the train a stop further away from home and walking the rest of way.
2. Keep it short and sharp
High-intensity training has a huge impact. The hack i love is what i call metabolic madness training, which is “snack” exercising that only takes 10 minutes. So run on the spot for 30 seconds, which gets your heart rate up, and then combine that with a muscle exercise, like push-ups for 30 seconds. You’re combining fitness training with cardiovascular training and you get double the bang for your buck.
3. You are what you eat.
You’ve probably heard people talking about how summer bodies are made in winter, right?
Well, they’re half right. The truth is that summer bodies are actually made in winter kitchens. If you’re preparing for summer, then eat like you’re already there with a focus on salads, clean proteins, grilled fish and soups.