Spring is a natural time of new beginnings. With the new season comes a blank slate and if there is ever a time to spring clean your health and fitness habits, it’s now. Jennifer Sygo is a sports nutritionist who works with both the Canadian track team as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs. She emphasizes that with regards to health, there’s no better time to commit to cleaning up the eating habits. As she puts it, the start of the year is a time when many fall into poor eating habits with winter comfort food temptations being coupled with holiday, Valentine’s Day and Easter chocolate overload. To add to that, many of us just don’t commit to the workouts in the same way that we do when the weather’s nice. So how do you make these changes now? Take any of these seven pieces of advice to make better habits this spring.
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Go back to habits that worked in the past
“The first thing is: is there something that has worked in the past?” says Sygo. For example, she says, maybe last summer the smoothies were your key to a healthy breakfast but in winter, you let the blender gather dust. Time to pull it back out.
Start a garden
Okay so you’re not exactly known for your green thumb, but don’t skip over this point. We’re not asking you to start an orchard here, just go for something simple. “You don’t need to be an expert to do this,” says Sygo. “If you’re looking for a starter, try kale. Don’t overthink it. Kale is so resilient.” Even if it’s just one small plant, it will feel rewarding to watch it grow and get you thinking more about eating fresh produce. “It’s so inspiring to grow your own food,” says Sygo.
Pick a different goal
Maybe the workout routine is getting stale because the goal isn’t exciting. Don’t just work towards something because you feel you have to. Not that interested in the marathon? That’s fine! If lower mileage paired with regular yoga is something that’ll motivate you, aim to keep that up.
Engage in the latest spring 2017 food trends
There are tons of creative recipes this spring that will also have you eating healthy. “Maybe you’ve never experimented with smoothie bowls, chia pudding or avocado mousse,” says Sygo. “These are new recipes that are fun!”
Change your workout time
Small changes can lead to big results. If your daily run happens at 6:30 p.m. every day, change it up. Morning runs may be just to thing to rekindle your love for the sport.
Scrap the workouts you hate
Everyone has that activity or workout that they just don’t like be it 800m repeats, Pilates or your tempo run along that slightly boring route. Whatever it is, if it’s not bringing you joy, scrap it and replace it with a more uplifting equivalent.
Hit up the farmer’s markets
Eating in-season fruits and vegetables is a classic piece of advice and for good reason. Make it fun by taking a walk through your local farmer’s market on a weekend to pick out new favourite produce. “Tap into our season,” says Sygo. “Very soon we’ll have asparagus, fiddle-heads and leafy greens.” Likely, you’ll come home with baskets full of fresh good-for-you ingredients to create fun and healthy new meals.