As we endure the final few weeks of winter and start to think about the impending swimsuit season, it can be tempting to succumb to restrictive diets and extreme exercise sessions in a bid to get svelte for spring.
But if you've relaxed over winter, experts say there's no point in working yourself into a tizz trying to slim down.
Instead, if you ease yourself back on the healthy eating and fitness bandwagon, you'll get more long-lasting results that will keep you from finding yourself in this situation in future. Here's how:
Celebrate your couch time
One of the worst things you can do for your motivation levels is beat yourself up for having too many Netflix binges in the dreary weather – kindness and self compassion actually go a long way towards motivating you to keep moving.
"Relaxing is also good for your health," Shelley Lask from Body Positive Health & Fitness tells Coach.
"Show yourself compassion if you haven't been as active as you would have liked, and recognise that it's normal for our activity levels to wax and wane through the ebbs and flows of life."
A lot of people make the mistake of going too hard too soon, then lose motivation.
"The best way to be active year round is to avoid all-or-nothing thinking and instead include space for flexibility in your physical activity," Lask explains.
"If you're having a busy or exhausting week, but manage to fit in a walk, give yourself a pat on the back for including some gentle movement. Celebrate what you do get done rather than stressing about what you didn't."
Trainer Rick Mirabella from Runnez agrees, suggesting you kick off with three 20-minute movement sessions a week to keep things manageable.
"We have to build a foundation, so I would say spend four weeks with three sessions a week," he says.
"It doesn't have to be crazy. Maybe just do 20 minutes on a cross-trainer or, if you're fit enough, do 20 minutes of interval training."
Use the weather to your advantage
As we head closer to spring, the warmer air can be a wonderful motivator and Lask suggests scheduling active catch-ups with friends to help you continue making exercise a seamless part of your day.
"Organising a walk with a friend rather than a sit-down coffee catch up is a lovely way to enjoy the weather and enjoy some physical activity while still being social," she says.
"Find activities that you actually enjoy and that help you move better and feel good. Try some new activities for variety, such as archery, boxing or laser tag."
Embrace seasonal ingredients
The sun is not the only thing in abundance in spring – there's also a bounty of beautiful fruit and vegetables begging to be eaten.
"Lots of fresh local produce comes back into season as the weather starts to slowly warm up," Kara Landau, Travelling Dietitian tells Coach.
"Some of my favourites include disease-fighting cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, as well as Brussels sprouts, asparagus and beetroot. I love roasting cauliflower, beetroot and Brussels sprouts and making up a colourful, flavoursome salad."
If you're feeling sluggish after subsisting on pizza and puddings since June, it can be tempting to sign up for a strict detox in a bid to re-set your insides.
But Landau says it's probably not necessary, given your kidney and liver do a pretty good job of detoxing automatically.
"Our bodies are set up to naturally detox themselves, so going on a prescribed 'detox' is not necessarily going to be of any benefit physically," she says.
"Incorporating more whole foods and removing refined and artificially formulated products will be of more benefit to your body going forward."
*Motivation is your best accessory with the Fitbit Alta – built with all-day activity, auto sleep, SmartTrack™ and reminders to move.
Read more at http://coach.nine.com.au/2016/07/21/12/35/the-smart-way-to-ease-yourself-out-of-winter-hibernation#sU0YTZiRpU0wrIgb.99