family riding bikes together

Spring into Fitness

We are starting to emerge from the cold, dark winter weather. As the weather warms up and all the plants are getting greener, it’s the perfect time to think about how you’ll emerge from winter hibernation on the couch. Research has found that most people are more active during spring and summer than late fall and winter. Nice weather and extra daylight after work makes it easier for most people to move more. Here are some tips you might find helpful to spring into fitness.

Move More Outdoors

When the weather is nice, it’s easy to find active recreation outdoors, from simply going for a walk around the neighborhood or on a walking trail to joining an adult softball league. Virginia has an excellent state park system and you can find many activities that get your family moving and enjoying the outdoors. Your local county, town or city also has public parks, greenways, and trails for your enjoyment and may offer activities, classes, or sports leagues. Visit your local parks and recreation department (or their website) to see what they offer that may interest you.

Your own backyard is a great place to move more, too. Your family can play catch, plant a garden, or challenge each other to a game of tag. Think back to your childhood and teach your children the games you used to play outside. Jumping rope is making a big comeback in fitness circles because it’s effective and a low-cost piece of equipment to buy and use.

mother and son with dog in field

Do you have a dog? Dog owners tend to be more active than people who don’t have a dog. There’s not better motivation to go for daily walks than a eager exercise buddy! You can also use these walks to teach your children responsibility in caring for your pets, too.

Tips for Getting 150 Minutes of Physical Activity

Over the years, we’ve given lots of tips for meeting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity. Here’s a recap of some of our best tips:

  • Make physical activity part of your daily activities by choosing active transportation options, active hobbies, and activity breaks at work. Read more here.
  • Even a trip to the farmers market can add some activity to your day. Read more here.
  • Get creative to find ways to fit in fitness throughout the day. It all adds up! Read more here.
  • Find a workout plan for beginners and build up to 150 minutes of physical activity safely and slowly. Read more here.
  • Be sure to add flexibility exercises to your routine, which can be done indoors or outside (think of the Instagram-worthy photo ops!). Read more here. (P.S. We’re on Instagram if you aren’t already following us @VaFNP.)
  • Cardio or aerobic exercise is good for your heart and your waistline. Read more here.
  • HIIT is a high intensity cardio style that gets the same results in half the time. What a gift to busy people! Read more here.
  • Strength training is recommended twice a week as a way to build muscles and improve function. Read more here.
  • Spring sports are a great opportunity for kids and parents to move more. Read more here.

We’d love to hear ideas from you for moving more with your family. Share how you add physical activity to your daily routines or role model being active for your kids. How has physical activity impacted your health, happiness, or stress levels? Do you look forward to spring weather to move more outdoors? I certainly do!

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