In nature, spring is the great awakening. As part of the natural world, we experience it ourselves: the longer and lighter the days become, the more our energy levels and desire to do things grow. Warmer weather returns, bringing with it greater enjoyment from being outdoors in the fresh air. Physical activity keeps you in good shape, boosts your immune system and gives you the chance to spend time with family and friends.
So where to start? Well, there’s no need to go all in from the get-go – you could, but by no means have to, join a gym or max out your credit card on expensive equipment. Here are a few ideas for getting started on the path to regular exercise without breaking the bank.
Take a hike!
Walking is something just about everyone can do and is a great way to ease yourself into a fitness routine. It can even become the focus of your fitness routine if you want it to. Start off walking short distances – around your local park, along the waterfront or in the forest, for example. The fitter you become, the longer and more challenging walks you can undertake. There are lots of fantastic hiking tracks in Estonia’s forests, which you can find on the State Forest Management Centre app: https://www.rmk.ee/organisatsioon/rmk-mobiilirakendus. Pop a thermos of tea in your backpack and off you go! Oh, and remember to take any rubbish home with you when you head back.
Get in shape and save money at the same time!
Now that spring’s in the air, it’s the perfect time to dust off your two-wheeled bestie, pump up its tyres and get back in the saddle! With fuel prices skyrocketing you might also want to think about using your bike on a day-to-day basis to get to work and the shops. It’ll save you money, with the added benefit of keeping you fit.
If you don’t have your own bike, some cities offer them for hire. If you do start using one every day, however, it makes sense to find the one that suits you best. There are people out there with bikes that aren’t quite right for them who’d be happy to sell them to you for a token amount. Post about it on Facebook and ask around to see if anyone’s interested in selling at a reasonable price. Of course, there are plenty of bikes to choose from in stores, and they’re bound to have one that suits you. Don’t forget to buy a helmet, and lights and reflectors for the bike. For some tips on great places to cycle, click here: https://www.puhkaeestis.ee/et/erilised-elamused/aktiivne-puhkus/jalgrattarattamatkad
Get up and running!
If walking seems a bit tame but bikes aren’t really your thing, perhaps you could try running? Again, be the tortoise rather than the hare – start by jogging over shorter distances, only increasing your speed and the ground you cover when you feel you’re ready to. Invest in a good pair of running shoes to cushion the impact on your joints. You might even want to talk to a specialist so that they can put together a good routine for you (i.e. one that won’t leave your body knackered). As with any form of exercise, start slowly and build up, set yourself realistic goals and be consistent.
Work out at home!
For many of us, the pandemic changed the way we live and taught us a thing or two going forward. One was that if we’re perfectly capable of working from home, why can’t we also work out at home? You’ll find all sorts of exercise videos on YouTube, for example. Pick one you like and away you go! Be creative, which is to say economical – choose something that doesn’t mean you have to buy a bunch of stuff and that won’t just turn into landfill over time. Use that cute little rug as your workout mat; make your own dumbbells by filling empty bottles; that sort of thing. Exercising doesn’t have to cost you a bundle, but your health is definitely worth investing in. And if you do buy equipment, opt for the sort that will still be in good nick years down the line.
Gardening: sport or hobby?
If you’ve ever had to dig up a garden or spent hours weeding flower beds, you’ll know that working in the yard can be very physically demanding. That said, it can also be quite a relaxing, almost meditative thing to do as you forget your everyday concerns.
If you don’t have your own garden, there’s sure to be someone you know who has one at home or at their summer cottage and who’d be eternally grateful for your help. It’ll give you a decent workout, you’ll be helping your friend and you’ll both get to enjoy spending time together.
Decisiveness and determination above all!
How often have you come up with good ideas but then put off making anything of them? We’ve all given in to temptation at times, grabbing a chocolate bar and curling up in front of the television. But we often fail to turn over a new leaf in our lives until our bodies start telling us we have no other choice. Just remember – there’s no time like the present!