Nothing like the promise of spring to kick us out of our winter doldrums! We prioritize our health year round, but something about the change of season motivates us to take a fresh look at our fitness and healthy lifestyle goals every spring. The longer days and new life popping up everywhere are such a huge motivator to become more disciplined and refresh our commitment to healthy living! Here’s how we’ve both reset our health this spring:
- Adding in More Workouts: Growing up, I was always involved in sports, and as life has gone on, I’ve never wanted to let go of that fit, strong, athletic feeling. There have been times (especially when my kids were little) that I wasn’t always in the best shape, but I’ve never given up on working out consistently. I’m one of those people who actually loves to exercise! A couple of times in my late 30’s and 40’s I’ve thought to myself, “well maybe this is just my new, older body” if I gained a bit of weight. What I’ve come to realize is that you can have the body and level of health that you want at any age, you just have to work hard at it and change the way you approach your workouts and eating habits! This spring, I’ve been adding in more workouts, especially with the longer days. I’m working out 6 days a week with a combination of Peloton spin workouts, yoga, and weight lifting. Along with these workouts, I’m getting out to walk more in the evening, or my husband and I are golfing (a great way to get in more steps!) Adding in more general activity is a great way to burn calories and have fun outdoors.
- More Yoga: Getting older has brought new challenges in my quest to work out and stay in shape! Last year I developed horrible tendonitis in my elbow. I had to go to physical therapy for almost a year to get rid of it! I couldn’t really lift weights during this time, so I switched to yoga and I started to really love it!! Now I do yoga every other day. Adding more yoga to my workout schedule has been amazing for my balance, flexibility and strength! I also think it has really improved the muscle tone in my legs. The point here is that you can either let injuries and limitations derail your health quest, or you can pivot your mindset and find activities that you CAN do!
- Intermittent Fasting: I’ve been intermittent fasting for some time now, but this spring I’m doubling down on my commitment to this way of eating! I’m not perfect, but in general I’m trying not to eat between the hours of 8:00pm and noon. I have coffee in the morning, followed by a fasted workout. I’d say I’m doing well not eating until noon, but it’s much harder for me not to have a small snack at night! In order not to snack, I’m trying to go to bed earlier, which I’ve been goal setting to do for years! It’s much easier not to snack at night if you just go to bed! For me this eating window is creating more discipline in other areas of my life, and it’s helped me maintain a weight that I’m happy with.
- A New Strategy to Combat Vacation and Summer Social Eating: Now that our kids are older, we have more free time to travel and socialize with friends! My husband and I have an active social life that involves a lot of eating out and festive beverages! We generally eat a whole food, plant based diet, but even with healthy food there is always a temptation to over eat. Julie and I have been friends for a long time, and I’ve really learned a lot from watching her eating habits. Julie is a very moderate person, and even though her workouts might not always be consistent, her weight really doesn’t fluctuate. She eats healthy, but I’d say that overall her consistent portion control is what helps her maintain her amazing figure! She also doesn’t drink a lot of calories. With her example in mind, I’m determined to enjoy vacation and social eating without letting it derail my health goals. My plan is to work out, even on vacation, so I can enjoy a few more treats. I’ll also eat small amounts of my favorite foods when eating out, and then get right back on track when I get home!
- More Accountability: This spring, I’ve increased accountability in my life to jump start some health goals. I’ve been doing some Peloton core challenges with friends that have really increased my core strength! It’s more fun to work out with friends so you can stay on track, talk about the experience, and compare your results. I like the challenge and accountability of trying to meet the move goal on my Apple Watch, or trying to beat my outputs on the Peloton. I used to love the competition of sports, now I mainly compete against my best self to try to improve my fitness! To be honest, “lastseenwearing” has been huge accountability in my life. I joke with people who complain to me that they want to lose weight that I’ll come to their house every week to take pictures of them lol! Knowing that there is always a photo shoot right around the corner definitely keeps me motivated!!
- Add more strength training: Two years post-covid I can tell my fitness level has diminished. Prior to the pandemic my weekly workout routine involved spin class 2-3x/week and hot yoga class 2x/week, and I felt like I was in the best shape of my life. Now I workout exclusively at home, and while I was still doing Peloton app spin bike classes and lifting weights, I could see that I was losing tone in my legs and strength in my arms. The biggest giveaway was that I was losing the ability to do pushups! I know I workout harder for an instructor in a class so that’s probably part of it, but the other huge factor is the reality that after the age of 50, women start to lose muscle at a more rapid rate. The arrival of spring served as a huge catalyst for me to reset my workout program to include strength training almost everyday. Now I alternate upper body and lower body workouts on the Peloton app, adding in core and yoga workouts to round out a whole body fitness routine!
- Commit to doing a workout everyday: I’m one of those people who loves the accountability of a fitness class! I’m much less likely to skip a workout when I look forward to a favorite instructor’s class and less face it, paying for a gym membership also keeps me going! Plus, I loved seeing friends in class (like Krista!). Transitioning to working out at home has been a process, since I can easily talk myself out of a workout if I’m busy. I’ve always been inspired by how disciplined Krista is with her home workouts–hearing how she fits it in daily has given me the push I needed to up my fitness routine! One of the things that’s stuck with me is this little pearl of wisdom from Krista: “everyone is busy, but everyone has 20 minutes a day they could squeeze in a workout.” No excuses! Since making the decision to do a workout every single day, even if it’s only 20 minutes, I’ve noticed a big difference in my strength and muscle tone after only two weeks! Seeing results is keeping me motivated and I’m excited about finally being disciplined with my home workouts!
- Yoga once a week: This sounds silly, but one of the things I missed the most during lockdown was going to my hot yoga class. I loved the health benefits of stretching, strengthening my balance, and sweating out buckets of toxins lol! I just couldn’t get into yoga at home like I did going to class, so of course, I totally stopped doing it. But with my newfound commitment to working out everyday, I knew adding yoga back in on a rest day between strength workouts would provide a great balance. Once again, Krista’s love for the yoga classes on the Peloton app motivated me to get going, and I’m happy to say I’m looking forward to my yoga workouts again!
- Spring 7-day detox: A functional medicine detox is something I’ve been doing for years (read more about it here), and my personal goal is to do one twice a year, once in the spring, and once right after the holidays. The EquiLife detox I use provides several benefits that help me reset mentally and physically every spring: it brings discipline back to my eating habits, it helps cut my craving for sweets and snacks, it reminds me that vegetables should be the largest portion on my plate, it flushes out toxins to reduce inflammation, improve brain health and promote overall longevity, and it helps me maintain my bodyweight.
- Go to bed earlier: This is so hard for me! Every night I get a second wind and become the Energizer bunny–I swear it’s when I accomplish the most! The downside is I can get too revved up or I stay up too late, both which interrupt my sleep cycle. I’ve never been the greatest sleeper, and aging isn’t helping unfortunately. A great night’s sleep is like gold! I do things to help get a better night’s sleep, like wearing blue light glasses, taking melatonin, etc., but I’ve found that if I go to bed earlier, I tend to sleep better and longer! A couple years ago, I listened to a great podcast on natural sleep rhythms (here) and I’m understanding now the wisdom of it. Easier said than done, but part of my spring refresh is to make going to bed earlier more of a consistent habit!
Who you hang out with really does make a difference! I love how Julie’s example has taught me more about moderate eating, and I have encouraged Julie to work out more!! We don’t always meet these health goals perfectly, but we really try! So much of life is reevaluating and getting back on track. What worked before might not work as well as we get older. We both have our own unique approach to health and fitness. The important thing is finding what works for you! We’re hopeful that this glimpse into how we have refreshed our health for spring will motivate you to do the same!
xoxo Julie & Krista