5 simple ways to jump-start fitness goals

Jumpstart Fitness

(BPT) – Fitness is central to your well-being and ability to enjoy life to the fullest, however it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. How do you find new interest and motivation so you’re ready to maximize the warm weather months?

Dan Gaz, physical activity and assessment program manager at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, says there are many things people can do to get a jump-start on their health and wellness.

“Fitness doesn’t have to be complicated or boring,” says Gaz. “There are many creative ways to implement fitness activities into your life that are both fun and invigorating.”

Gaz suggests five simple ways to get a jump-start on summer fitness and energize your workout routine:

Try something new

Gaz says getting outside your comfort zone can be beneficial to your health. “Trying something new helps keep your fitness plan fresh. Plan a visit to the local farmers market to pick up produce. Sign up for a 5k run, or look at your local community education or rec center class catalog and sign up for activities. The social dynamics of these types of events benefit mental as well as physical health.”

Get outside

“Getting outdoors is rejuvenating,” Gaz says. “Taking a walk in nature is a nice change of pace that is good for the body and mind.” You can go for a walk, run or take a stroll around a local park. “Just being outdoors shakes things up and you may find higher levels of energy as you breathe in the fresh air. Plus, getting a daily dose of vitamin D from the sun does the body good.”

Bring friends

“It’s no secret when you work out with other people they tend to hold you accountable, but there’s also more benefit than just that,” says Gaz. “When you take an exercise class, join a running club or biking group, you may end up pushing yourself harder. The people next to you become your exercise advocates and suddenly, you’ll have the desire to keep up and do more. This can accelerate reaching your fitness goals.”

Rethink commuting

“Anything you can do to break up the monotony of sitting is a good thing.” Try being creative in commuting and how you travel throughout the day. “If possible, walk or bike to work or the grocery store. You can also take the bus, get off a couple blocks early and walk the rest of the way. A little planning ahead of time can help you accomplish multiple things at once: You’re getting exercise, completing an errand and reducing your carbon footprint.”

Be purposeful

“You may only have a few minutes a day to dedicate to exercise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a big impact,” says Gaz. “Being purposeful with your choices is important. For example, use intervals in your workout routine to maximize outcomes. If you enjoy walking, do a brisk 30 or 60 seconds, then walk slower for the same period of time before pushing yourself again. This type of interval training is simple, yet highly effective. It works similarly for other activities like swimming, biking and running.”

To find more tips about improving your health with creative approaches to exercise or to set up a visit with a wellness expert, visit healthyliving.mayoclinic.org.