If you’re like me, you’ve gotten your fill of snowshoeing, skiing and wrestling kids into snowsuits this winter. As much as I love the snowy season, I am eagerly anticipating the warmer weather ahead and planning my (sand) bucket list of fun outdoor pursuits. To that end, I’ve come up with a roundup of five activities you can do on the weekends starting now to make sure you’re prepped, pumped and pretty for the glorious summer ahead.
1. Prep your body with a new activity
Spring is definitely a breath of fresh air, but if you have a dog like me, you’ll understand why I refer to it as “muddy paw season”. If jogging through trails of thick muck doesn’t appeal to you, try an interim activity like “air-obics” (aerobic classes taught on a trampoline) or ballet barre classes to help tighten, tone and prime your muscles for your favourite outdoor activity. These particular activities are excellent training for a wide variety of sports, focusing on balance, strength and flexibility. In Ontario, check out Skyrobics classes at Skyzone Trampoline Park’s 7 locations. You can easily find ballet barre classes in most mid-size to large cities, too.
2. Evaluate and replace your gear
Whether you’re a hardcore or strictly recreational outdoor adventurist, it’s important to have the right apparel to ensure your safety and comfort. Footwear for example, should be replaced every 300-500 miles, and it’s crucial to match the shoe to the activity (trail running, hiking and casual footwear all have different attributes). LiveOutThere.com’s ‘activities’ tab can help narrow down the best gear for your favourite outdoor activity. Don’t forget about fashion too. Acquiring a few key pieces in hot new shades can definitely put a bounce in your step and a swing in your hair.
3. Refine your diet
If you’ve used the excuse of “winter weight” and the sky-high price of cauliflower this past winter to throw your healthy eating out the window, the jig is up. If you want a rocking bod at the beach and the energy to carry out your favourite activities this summer, you’ll need to focus on nutrition. Check out Pinterest for some delicious and healthy meal ideas to feed your body well and be at the top of your game. I also follow food bloggers such as Clean Eating Goddess, to inspire me when I get into a menu rut.
4. Set a goal
Always wanted to run a marathon or hop on a road bike? Research charity “fun runs” or triathlons scheduled for your area. Not only are they a fun way to build your endurance and motivation, sponsored activities are a great opportunity to get involved in your community while supporting a worthy cause. There are tons of such events in the spring, summer and fall depending on where you live, but many book up fast- be sure to register early and let that circled date on the calendar motivate you towards your goal.
5. Plan a trip
There’s no better place to mix recreation and relaxation than on (you guessed it) vacation. Bear in mind that summer home rentals, adventure tours and campsites do book up fast. Check out airbnb.com, cottagesincanada.com, provincial park websites or tour operators in popular destinations early to help ensure you get your preferred choices. Before you know it, you’ll be cannon-balling into the summer of your dreams.