Need a Push to Get Off the Couch? Harness Spring Fever and Get Moving

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and after a winter spent mostly indoors, your body is probably ready to shine and sing too. “Get out there and move,” urges Meg A. Thomas Ackerman, M.A., of the Michigan Fitness Foundation, the home of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. “Even if it’s just 10 or 20 minutes a day, there are tremendous health benefits across the board.”

Hit the gym

If you don’t have a membership, consider signing up for one. If you do, take advantage of the services. Whether it’s been a few months or a few decades since you last exercised, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor first, then a trainer to get a sense of your current fitness level. New classes are often introduced at the start of the season, so you may find appealing exercise options that weren’t there the last time you visited. Get a gym discount through HAP Member Discounts.

Or ditch the gym!

The weather’s warmer and the days are longer—why not get out of the fluorescent light and into the sunlight? Walking, biking and running all bring special benefits. Research shows that outdoor workouts tend to be more strenuous than indoor pursuits. For example, cyclists expend more energy on bike paths than on a stationary bike, and runners move their bodies differently on pavement than a treadmill. Even if you’re just going for a long stroll, being outdoors provides an extra boost to your mental well-being.

Invest in new workout gear

Ever notice how a new workout outfit actually makes you feel like jumping up and down? It’s not just you. This phenomenon applies in lots of contexts—getting dressed for work helps set a professional mood, and going black tie can make an evening out more special. Researchers even have a name for the feeling: enclothed cognition. They explain that the clothes we wear really do influence our psychological processes. So go ahead, splurge on some new exercise gear—it’s for your well-being!

Try something new

Never played racquetball? Give it a whirl. Curious about Pilates? Sign up for a session. Spring is a perfect time to indulge in new things, so play the field and try several activities; then circle back to the ones that put a little extra bounce in your step.

Find a workout buddy

Some of us love the quiet meditation of a solitary run. But if you tend to lose interest faster than you can say “five-minute mile,” reach out to a pal and create a tandem workout schedule. Exercise is more fun when you have someone to chat with—and harder to back out of when you know you’ll be disappointing your partner. Plus, you don’t have to make a major commitment. One study found that just getting a check-in phone call every couple of weeks helped keep exercisers on task.

Embrace technology

Do you get a charge out of gadgets? There are dozens of smartphone apps, digital trackers and electronic accessories designed to get (and keep) you moving. Consider Charity Miles, which turns your workout into a fundraiser for a nonprofit of your choice. Or try Pact, which promises a little cash back when you make good on your gym attendance goals. If all you need is a musical beat, you’ll love RockMyRun, which sets your favorite music to whatever pace you find most comfortable. Or log on to HAP’s iStrive for Better Health. It's a personalized digital wellness manager with free tools and programs, powered by WebMD®Health Services. And it’s compatible with more than 140 fitness trackers to sync your steps. Log in to hap.org and click on “iStrive for Better Health” to get started.

Join a community event

Signing up for a 5K or a walkathon can give you extra motivation to get out the door every morning. Keep an eye out for local fundraising events, or HAP can help you train with our 5K Challenge.

0891 Member Exclusive TypeTake HAP’s 5K Challenge – our training program that gets you going from little or no exercise to running 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in just nine pain-free weeks. At the end of the challenge, join us at one of these races and get a discount on your race registration:

Oak Apple Run in Royal Oak on June 3
Atwood Stadium Races in Flint on July 22
HAP Crim Festival of Races in Flint on August 26
Pulse Run for Your Heart in Saginaw on September 9
Trick or Feet in Northville on October 8
Weekend Warrior Runfest in Shelby Township on October 8

To get your discount code and register, follow these steps:

1. Log in to your hap.org account.
2. Click on “My Health and Wellness” then “Member Events.”
3. View the list of races and discount codes.
4. Sign up for a race.

Categories: Get Moving

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