That joyous season of the year—the one that evokes song and dance from all of our inner Disney lovers—is almost upon us: springtime. The days become longer, the flowers bigger, and the rain from spring clouds washes all of our winter sorrows away. Even as the winter weather slides down our city storm drains, though, another worry always seems to roll right in on its tails: the “summer body” expectation and the question of how to get back in shape.
Sigh. It’s always something.
For every problem, though, there is always a solution, and springtime is filled with a myriad of ways to enjoy the new season and shape up your muscles just in time for a summer flex.
Take a gander through our garden of tips for how to reconnect with nature, challenge yourself to try new activities, and snap back into that summer-ready shape.
#1: Start a Hobby
When it comes to getting back in shape, creating ways to meld your fitness routine with play is a gamechanger. Not only does incorporating fun within fitness trick your brain into enjoying physical activities, but it also allows you to reap some of the mental benefits such as lower stress levels and reduced risks of depression.1
The best way to do this? Start a new hobby. Challenging your brain and your body to learn something new might be the workout you didn’t know you needed.
Join a Fitness Class
Learning new concepts is always diverting, and with a plethora of options to choose from, the world (and its knowledge) is at your fingertips. Consider diving deep into practicing new skills by enrolling in a fitness class or exercise program.
Whether you’ve always wanted to try your hand at tai chi or you’re itching to know what indoor mountain climbing entails, opening yourself up to have fun while getting fit is well worth the challenge.
Enlist in a Sports League
Playing sports isn’t just for the professionals. Lean into your community by electing a sports league to participate in. If competitive sports have never been your forte, don’t worry—sports leagues often vary in both activity and skill level. There’s a sport for everyone at nearly every skill level, so hype up your inner Michael Jordan and let the games begin!
Forage for Fun
There are several activities that will get you up and outside—particularly ones that prompt you to explore your area in a number of ways. Think Where’s Waldo, but in the real world and for adults. The idea of foraging for that needle-in-a-haystack item across your neighborhood is enough impetus alone to jump into the adventure. The next time you feel the whim to accept this fun-filled fitness challenge, try:
- Foraging – Go on a hunt for some berries (not the poisonous ones) to add to your post-workout smoothie. With the rise of foraging apps, both city-dwellers and country-lovers alike can experience just how special it is to find and identify the edible flora growing right under our usual radars. Download an app, pick a plant you’d love to find, and have fun exploring. This way, you can spice up a standard walk or jog by adding an exciting mission—and maybe even a few healthy snacks.
- Making a bucket list – Many cities offer guides to the events and happenings set to take place in the local area. Scroll through this list and compile your very own bucket list of fitness activities to do. Whether it’s joining a free yoga class in the park or tagging along with others in your neighborhood for a midnight bike ride, scout around for the physical activities that provide the most fun.
Pro tip: One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable whilst beginning a new physical activity is to dive headfirst into it with someone beside you! Grab a buddy and check off your fitness goals side by side.
#2: Plan a Diet
Healthy bodyweight exercises are only half of the equation to a thriving, fit life. Getting back in shape requires a delicate balance between:2
- Physical fitness
- A balanced diet
Perhaps the desire to bump up your fitness comes hand-in-hand with the urge to cut back on calories for weight loss. However, as you meal plan, make sure you don’t leave out necessary, nutrient-packed foods from your plate.
Check for Farmer’s Market Finds
Spring is the time when all fruits and vegetables have matured to their peak. The berries are the sweetest, the cucumbers the juiciest, and the tomatoes are ripened to perfection. If you’re looking for healthy options to add to your diet, consider stopping by a farmer’s market for the freshest produce in the land.
The best part? If you’re ever unsure of what to buy, you can ask local farmers for their advice on the healthiest foods and the best recipes to prepare them.
Lead the Chefs Into Your Kitchen
If you’re unsure of how to incorporate a healthy eating plan into your lifestyle, or you simply don’t have the time to prepare your meals from start to finish yourself, consider subscribing to a meal kit delivery service. These services deliver fresh food with easy-to-follow recipes right to your door to take the headache out of meal planning. As an added plus, all nutritional and calorie information tends to be provided along with each meal.
Plus, meal service caters to diverse clients with varying dietary preferences. So, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or need to avoid aggravating a food allergy, pair your spring workout with a meal plan that works for you.
#3: Treat Yourself
At the end of the day, we’re all working towards some type of prize for all of our hard work: an easy retirement on the beach, a long-awaited promotion, or even the chance to get home and binge new episodes of our latest Netflix addiction. Why not incorporate this principle into your fitness routine?
As you find innovative ways to get your regular exercise in, search for ways to reward yourself when you hit a personal best or at each stage of your fitness journey.
Plan a Trip
It’s the big reveal that’s always behind door number three and the prize that makes The Price Is Right contestants scream with glee: a vacation. The next time you’re scanning for the best weekend-getaway deal, make sure to book a trip with your fitness goal in mind and pack your favorite men’s or women’s slide sandals. So, be sure to list down easy to follow vacation workouts as well. Whether you’re looking forward to laying on the beach, or taking envy-inducing Instagram pics, making a vacation a reward for your work is the best motivator for any fitness goal.
Get to Steppin’
We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill stroll around the block. Jot a list of trendy places you’d love to visit in your city, and make sure you incorporate your workout plan. You could venture anywhere while wearing your favorite walking sandals: a new donut shop, a bagel bar, or even your favorite art museum. The kicker? You have to walk to each location. In order to savor that pillowy bite of pastry or sit and sketch 17th-century art, throw out the car keys, stash away the subway card, and walk towards your reward.
For those who live in spaces where cars are necessary means of transportation, we’ve got you covered too:
- Take a hike – Looking to increase your heart rate and your cardio up? Hop in the car, lace up your hiking boots, and take to the mountains, hills, or whatever scenic walking trails you’ve yet to uncover. This is one of the best ways to do aerobic exercise and increase your muscle strength. Start with a beginner trail, if you’d like, then scale up in difficulty as you begin to get your footing. Once you conclude your walk, you can then decide on a reward to treat yourself. Fireside yoga? A night at the spa? Wind down in the mountains in whatever way feels best for you.
- Break out the bike – If you need something a bit more fast-paced than walking for your cardiovascular fitness, try biking instead. Dust off the wheels of your cruiser and coast down the sidewalks of your favorite city. Bike towards a new shop you’ve been eyeing or simply basque in the joy of riding because—let’s face it—feeling the breeze across your face as you ride around in springtime air is reward enough.
- Walk for change – Sometimes, there’s nothing more rewarding than putting your regular exercise efforts toward a good cause. Do some research to find 5K road races in your area that are raising money for an organization or charity that’s near and dear to your heart. Whether you’re walking, running, or jogging with friends, getting your cardio up will feel even better when you help to make a positive change on a local level.
Decide What Works for You
Whether you’re picturing your big trip as you work out on the elliptical or celebrating five pounds lost as you walk to the local juice bar, the key is to remember that your hard work deserves an award. What that prize looks like is entirely up to you.
Think about what will motivate you to get out of bed on those mornings when the last thing you want to do is break a sweat. Keep a realistic goal in mind throughout your fitness journey, log your progress in a fitness journal, and always remember that betting on yourself yields the greatest reward.
Vionic—Fitness, Fun, and the Springtime Sun
For all of its benefits—more time in the sunlight, warmer weather, and the best fruits and veggies of the season—springtime can also be a wake-up call that it’s time to get back into shape. Whatever your fitness or workout plan is this season, we want you to have fun while achieving your goals.
Vionic knows that no matter where your feet take you, your footwear should always give you the support that you need. With contours engineered into every pair, our shoes provide the comfort, stability, and alignment to help you tackle any task.
This spring, whether you’re foraging for flora in the urban jungle or simply strolling down the street in your favorite women’s comfortable sandals, Vionic is here to support you through every step of your fitness adventure.
- Fetters, Aleisha. “6 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Enjoying Your Next Workout.” Time. 8 April, 2016. https://time.com/4282903/how-to-have-fun-working-out/
- Sullivan Kilroy, Dana. “Eating the Right Foods for Exercise.” Healthline. Updated 27 February, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise-eating-healthy
- “Best Meal Kit Delivery Service for 2022.” CNet. https://www.cnet.com/health/nutrition/best-meal-kit-delivery-service/