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Spring into fitness

Posted March 26, 2014 in Advice Column, Boone

With spring finally on its way, working out finally seems possible. With the sun shining, the snow melting and the warm air blowing, it’s time to get outside and get active. But for some people, that’s easier said than done. Here are a few helpful tips to get some spring in your step about exercising.

• Running isn’t for everyone. Forcing yourself to go outside and run for an hour isn’t always the most appealing way to exercise for many people, but sometimes it seems like it’s the only option. Although running is one of the easiest ways to exercise outside, it’s not the only way. Body weight circuit training is an easy, free way to get your heart rate up without running for hours on end. Go to your favorite park and set up a circuit using what you have available. Dips, push ups, lunges and jumps for height are all exercises you can do on the bench, not to mention the hundreds of exercises you can do on the ground or in the grass. Sixty minutes of exercise with zero minutes of running.

• Setting realistic goals. The most important thing to remember is that if you don’t like running, don’t set goals that are running oriented. What many people fail to do when starting an exercise program is to set realistic goals. But realistic goals don’t always mean amount of weight lost or hours of exercise logged. An important part of goal setting is setting yourself up for success with what you’ll actually be doing to achieve that goal. If your goal is to run at least 30 minutes a day to lose weight, but you hate running, more than likely you’ll start to find reasons to not go running every day, and soon you’ll find you aren’t running at all and thus your goal of losing weight is no longer realistic. If you find that you really like walking, find a walk-fit program online that includes interval training and maybe even add in some circuit training if you happen to walk by the park. Then your goal can be to walk for an hour a night in order to lose weight. You’ll be much happier, and you’ll be more likely to achieve your goal!

• Finding a friend. If you are the type of person who wants to exercise but are maybe lacking the motivation to do so, finding a friend might be what you need to keep you accountable. Going on walks or runs, or exercising in a circuit format with a friend can be so much more rewarding because you can celebrate your success together.

So what are you waiting for? Get motivated and spring into fitness today.

Information provided by Chelsea Harris, fitness and wellness director, Boone County Family YMCA, 608 Carroll St., 515-432-5925,

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