As springs brings with it a renewal process for everything outside that's been dormant for months, it's also the time that most pick to do the same type of refresh in their immediate surroundings. Almost three in four Americans seize on this feeling of change every year and do a "spring cleaning" to finally deal with long neglected garages, closets, windows and more.
While there's no new, magical energy that suddenly appears over any given day in December or July, there's a mental spark from everything going on outside. This same mindset that motivates to finally tackle clutter, clean out and reorganize living spaces can be just the jumpstart needed to do the same for your diet and exercise efforts that may have also slowly (but surely) gotten far off track. Here's why and how to take advantage:
Spring Cleaning is a Massive Workout
What if you had the calorie-burning equivalent workout of running a marathon already in the bag? If you've ever felt surprisingly sore after a weekend of spring cleaning, it's no surprise that it's basically a 2-day workout. Think about it this way:
- Just 30 minutes of mopping burns 153 calories, vacuuming 119 calories, sweeping 136 calories, window washing 167 calories, and on and on.
- In total, you may well end up burning over 3,600 calories. Compare that to 2,600 for a marathon!
- Calories burned during a "spring cleaning session" is equal to 26 servings of vanilla ice cream or 30 glasses of wine.
How to Spring Clean a Fitness or Diet Routine
Another annual ritual, the New Year's Resolution, is an unsuccessful effort for the majority of those who try to start a new weight loss or health program, unfortunately. The start of spring is the perfect time to get started again by cleaning up certain mindsets, reorganizing a plan, and starting with a fresh perspective.
Refresh Your Workout Program
With the right approach, you can reorganize and renew personal exercise efforts, whether they've slowed, not been working, or even stopped over the winter months.
- Toss old athletic or running shoes. Worn-out soles can set you up for injury and you'll want to find a pair of shoes designed for the type of activity you're going to do.
- Get rid of those cheap or free pedometers. There are plenty of affordable fitness trackers with a wide variety of features (such as GPS, community challenges, Bluetooth, sleep tracking, etc.). Pick one designed for the type of activity you're doing, such as just walking, jogging, or biking, that includes all the features you want and none that you don't. Read more: The Best Fitness Trackers for Every Need
- Get better workout clothes. No more cotton shirts and sweatpants. There is a wide variety of performance materials and they don't have to be expensive.
- Trash a focus on just just distance, frequency or duration in your workout and focus on quality.
- If you've worked out in the past, rethink and reboot your old workouts, such as jogging/walking and "start over" with new, structured plan.
Shine Up and Dust Off a Diet
After your kitchen looks like new, keep going and take it to the pantry. Also, don't forget to take another look at more than just the expiration dates when cleaning out the fridge.
- Look for high fat condiments such as mayonnaise and creamy salad dressings and replace them with other flavorful items like mustard, greek yogurt, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
- In the pantry, go out with the old high sugar, high fat and high sodium snacks and in with the new. Best of all, you don't have give up your favorite sweet or salty favorites, just look for healthier versions of your snacks that include plenty of hunger-satisfying protein. Take a look at our all-new lineup of healthy snacks from Snackergy, as well.
- Experiment with different specialty diet foods such as gluten free or organic.
- Experiment with meal planning and mix up your "usual" meals or food choices.
- Try a meatless meal a week, or even an entire vegan/vegetarian day like Meatless Monday.
- Add more lean protein options throughout the week and consider swapping out some starches.
- Start taking (calorie) inventory with tracking, either in a notebook or one of the easy-to-use calorie counting apps like MyFitnessPal or Lose It!
- If you're ready to start/restart or break a plateau in a focused weight loss program, try a short-term meal plan designed to set good habits like the WonderSlim EasyStart 3-Day Diet.
As mentioned, with spring cleaning you've already got one terrific workout done. As you look at your newly cleaned, organized living space, imagine extending that to your fitness and health. You already know how to do it! Go room-by-room, de-clutter everything and put a special focus on any forgotten spaces in your diet and fitness efforts, too.