Spring is just around the corner, and that means many of us will soon start to spring clean. But spring cleaning isn’t just for the home! It’s the perfect opportunity for us to take stock of our workouts, active-wear and exercise equipment.
With so much going on in our busy lives, it might be difficult to figure out where to begin, or even what to prioritise! We’ve got you covered with these 7 simple tips and tricks that will point you in the right direction. This article will help you identify what things need to be spruced up, and what things you can tackle later on!
Be sure to check out the helpful links at the bottom of this article for additional information that will support you on your health and fitness journey.
These Top 7 Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks will help you get started!
- A pair of old walking shoes or runners could spell disaster for your feet and ankles. Shoes that are worn out can no longer provide the support or traction you need during running, hiking or walking, and can potentially cause injuries. To avoid a sprained ankle or aching feet, it is a good idea to invest in a new pair of shoes that are specifically designed for the activity that you plan to engage in, and to write the date of the purchase on the tongue. By doing so, you’ll be able to calculate how much you’ve used the runners, and when you should be replacing them. For example, if you walk or run 24 km per week, replacing your shoes every 8 months is recommended. In fact, you should generally try to replace them every 650 – 800 km.
- Even with a pair of brand new shoes, you may be experiencing foot, leg, hip, and/or back pain. People who have some type of foot dysfunction or imbalance could really benefit from shoe inserts called ‘orthotics’. This is because foot or ankle issues can cause misalignments in the lower spine, which can affect posture and cause pain in the lower back and joints over time. 1 If you are experiencing pain while walking, jogging or hiking, it is a good idea to consult a chiropractor and get to the bottom of it. The chiropractor will most likely suggest a ‘gait scan’, which is a diagnostic tool that uses sensors to analyze the biomechanics of your gait. 2 The results will allow the chiropractor to customize a pair of orthotics that will relieve and prevent pain, and with wear treat your issues.
- Pedometers that you get for free don’t work. Buying a new pedometer for about $20 – $25 will not only get you a much better quality one, but will also make all the difference in your fitness routine. Research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that low-end pedometers over- or underestimate step counts by a large margin. This could really throw things off during your workouts.
- Lightweight dumbbells are great for beginners, but if you’ve noticed that you can easily complete your reps and sets, it’s time to upgrade. If you’re not in the habit of gradually increasing your weights on a regular basis, and your workouts have become easy, you’ve probably hit a plateau. Your body adapts quickly, so opting for heavier weights the next time you hit the gym will provide a challenge.As long as you’re lifting in a safe manner (which means that you aren’t experiencing any pain and are still able to control your form and movements) you can lift as much as you are able to!
- If you’re like me, you tend to only sip water when you’re thirsty. When you’re exercising, this is not a good habit to have! Sweat is 95% water, so when you sweat, you can become dehydrated quite quickly if you’re not drinking enough. In fact, approximately 10% of the water that your body loses per day is through sweat, and that’s not including exercise! Dehydration will cause you to stop sweating, and lead to fatigue, weakness, a rapid heartbeat, heat stroke or heat exhaustion. To avoid losing too much water when you’re working out, professionals recommend that you drink about ½ a cup to ¾ of a cup of water every 15 minutes. 5
- More is not always better. In fact, when it comes to exercise, it’s quality over quantity! The length of your workout is much less important than the type of exercise you do. For example, 30 minutes of sprinting intervals is a much more valuable workout than jogging at the same speed for an hour. Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of light activity. Exercising this way will actually burn more calories, and rapidly improve your endurance.
- Cotton isn’t the best fabric for working out. Although it is easily available and affordable, cotton isn’t ideal if you sweat a lot. Cotton is breathable, which means that it won’t make you sweat more, but it will absorb some of the moisture your body produces, leaving you feeling moist and uncomfortable. Cotton also loses it’s shape quite quickly, either getting baggy with wear, or shrinking when washed or dried at a setting that is too hot. This can be uncomfortable, and troublesome if your clothes are too baggy, because exercise instructors will have trouble viewing your form. Your best bet is to invest in moisture wicking, advanced materials that are designed for working out, as those clothes will last you longer.