Springtime is here!  Which means summer is almost here and so is bikini season, but no need to stress about it. Instead, take this as an opportunity to spring clean your fitness routine. Many of us fall behind in the winter finding it hard to get out there and exercise in the cold and eating way too many chocolate chip cookies around the holiday season. But, it’s never too late to get back on track, and with our five-step checklist, you’ll be there in no time.

1)   Reevaluate your fitness plan, given the new season and any other changes in your life: If indoor soccer season is over, then find a replacement. It doesn’t have to be an organized sport or even something that occurs while your games were taking place – make sure it is a sufficient replacement that forces you to retain structure in your schedule. Seasonal variation in your routine can be a good thing because you can mix it up a bit so you don’t get bored and you are exercising different muscle groups.

2)   Give yourself time to build habits: They say it takes 28 days to build a habit. Some say 30. Others say 12. The point is that you need to allow yourself time to build up to getting back into the fitness routine (but not too much time). It’s not unhealthy to allow yourself some leeway to be a bit lazy in your workouts during your habit-building period. You know yourself, so only you can decide on this time frame, but once you choose on the duration of your “habit-building period” – stick to it.

3)   Get rid of routines that aren’t working for you: Maybe it has become too hard for you to continue that 4:00 AM workout after your workout buddy quit the gym. Or it could be that your knee is acting up again, causing you anxiety on run days. Whatever the case, spring is a time to reevaluate your regiments and make changes to times, locations, or activities. Don’t stick to old routines if they’re not working for you.

4)   Recruit a new workout group: Take the initiative to set up a Facebook group for a weekly social workout schedule and post inspirational photos of the group. Even if it’s once or twice per week it gets a group together to run, bike, hike, or do yoga – whatever it is that everyone enjoys. And for those evening workouts, you can go for a well-earned beer afterward!

5)   Fit woman eating healthy salad after workoutAdjust your diet to your new routine: If you are pairing down in your workout routine, pair down in your caloric intake; otherwise you will find yourself gaining weight. This goes both ways, though – if you are going to surprise your body with the shock of unexpected extraneous physical activity, make sure you nourish it well.  Stay hydrated, get plenty of protein, grains, and complex carbohydrates.

Springtime is a time for coming out of that state of hibernation that everyone reverts to during winter. The sun is coming out, the cold winter chill is melting away, and people are getting in the mood for summer So clean out the attic, the messy drawers in the kitchen, and go through our spring clean checklist for your workout routine. Change is good, and if you make the right adjustments, you can readjust your physical health routine and get back on track. Feel good and look good for summer.