fitness

Bouncing Back From Your Winter Season: 5 Ways To Get Active This Spring

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Article written by Paige Johnson with Learnfit.org

The winter season can often be difficult on us - both emotionally and physically. Some individuals face seasonal depression. Others harbor intense anxiety associated with being trapped inside. Even if we don’t suffer from a mental disorder, we spend less time exercising and more time eating to maintain our core body temperature. Sometimes, we go overboard, promising ourselves that we’ll get better when the weather improves. Unless you live in a consistently warm state like Arizona or Florida, you likely experience some of these symptoms. Kick away the winter blues by trying these five enjoyable ways to get active this spring.

 1.     Walk, Jog, or Bike
It’s easy to overlook how enjoyable walking, jogging, or biking can be. Try pairing these simple cardio exercises with fun activities. For example, you can jog or run while playing laser tag. You can walk to your local library or a downtown attraction. You can bike just about anywhere - if you live in a town with sidewalks. Mix these functions into your daily life. Instead of getting into your car, think about other (more traditional) methods of transportation that can keep you active. Not sure whether you should walk or bike? Livestrong recently published an interesting article on the subject.

 2.     Develop Weekly Habits
Whether you join a sports team, engage in a weekly game of softball or flag football, or meet your friends for a scavenger hunt, develop regular habits with friends and family members that will get you moving. You can learn about the benefits of team sports through Let’s Play.
Rather than staying at home and watching movies throughout the spring season, get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Water balloon fights, picnics, and afternoons spent at the beach are great ways to stay healthy and motivated without even trying. After all, exercise is more fun when you don’t realize you’re doing it.

3.     Eat a Balanced Diet
While being active is important (and even vital) to maintaining healthy habits during the spring season, it’s also essential to eat a balanced diet. You should be eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, in addition to avoiding greasy fast food or pizza. These items are acceptable as a treat, but you should focus your energy on making healthy food in the comfort of your own home. One healthy choice each day can go a long way. Figure out what you should be eating through Choose My Plate - a website that offers unique ideas based on your individual needs.

 4.     Make Plans With Friends
Get active by making plans with your friends and family. Exercising is far less frustrating when we share it - masking it behind fun activities with the people we love. It can be as simple as a nightly walk or as complex as a baseball league. Whatever you decide to do, build your healthy spring habits with the individuals who support you.

5.     Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Exercising and making healthy eating decisions can be difficult when you haven’t been raised in a household that prioritizes health. There can, and will, be moments when you are forced to step outside your comfort zone. It might start by trying a new food each week. You might find yourself playing sports, when you never thought of yourself as athletic before. The Huffington Post recently offered six reasons to take risks and leave your comfort zone. Break down barriers. You’ll be happy you did.

Start an upward slope this spring by trying these five methods of getting active. The harder you work, the better your results will be.

Confidence.

How many of us want to be a more confident person? I'll be honest and say that l've spent a lot of energy in my life trying to figure out how to be more confident. I was searching for an unwavering, unshakable confidence that no matter the turbulence life brought I had everything together (or at least looked like I did). It was exhausting. Since becoming a Christian and hanging out in Christian communities one thing I've noticed and admired is this sense of settledness - not to be confused with apathy - they have in their identities regardless of the circumstances. 
The key to being a more confident person is not by becoming more confident in our abilities but becoming more confident in our identities in Jesus Christ. Because at that point when we are completely settled in Him, our abilities don't seem to matter. Sometimes we're going to crush it and sometimes we're going to mess up badly but if you have a relationship with God you will always be a valued, adored and cherished son or daughter of the King! 
Rest in Him. He made you uniquely and wonderfully in His image. You don't have to try to be anything. The most beautiful thing you could be is you ❤ 

5 Best Day Hikes with Kids

Franklin Falls  Round Trip - 2.0 miles Elevation Gain – 400 ft Difficulty- very easy  Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 47 Denny Creek/Tinkham Road. At the top of the exit ramp turn left and cross over the freeway. Go .2 miles and turn right at the stop sign onto Forest Road 58. The road crosses under the freeway and after .2 miles turn left. Continue ahead for 2.4 miles and take a left just after Denny Creek Campground and arrive at the Franklin Falls trailhead.

Franklin Falls 
Round Trip - 2.0 miles
Elevation Gain – 400 ft
Difficulty- very easy

Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 47 Denny Creek/Tinkham Road. At the top of the exit ramp turn left and cross over the freeway. Go .2 miles and turn right at the stop sign onto Forest Road 58. The road crosses under the freeway and after .2 miles turn left. Continue ahead for 2.4 miles and take a left just after Denny Creek Campground and arrive at the Franklin Falls trailhead.

Twin Falls  Round Trip - 2.0 miles Elevation Gain – 500 ft Difficulty: Easy  Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 38 West. From the exit ramp, turn right onto SE Homestead Valley Road. Cross over the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River and take the first right. At the first and second forks, bear left. The road runs out at a junction with the Iron Horse Trail, which you will hike along for about a third of a mile before it connects to the Upper Twin Falls trail.

Twin Falls 
Round Trip - 2.0 miles
Elevation Gain – 500 ft
Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 38 West. From the exit ramp, turn right onto SE Homestead Valley Road. Cross over the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River and take the first right. At the first and second forks, bear left. The road runs out at a junction with the Iron Horse Trail, which you will hike along for about a third of a mile before it connects to the Upper Twin Falls trail.

Rattlesnake Ridge Round Trip – 4.0 miles Elevation Gain – 1160 ft Difficulty – Easy to moderate depending on skill level  Directions: From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 32 for 436th Avenue SE. Turn right onto 436th Avenue SE, also signed as Cedar Falls Road SE. Proceed about four miles down the road to the Rattlesnake Lake parking lot on the right.

Rattlesnake Ridge
Round Trip – 4.0 miles
Elevation Gain – 1160 ft
Difficulty – Easy to moderate depending on skill level

Directions: From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 32 for 436th Avenue SE. Turn right onto 436th Avenue SE, also signed as Cedar Falls Road SE. Proceed about four miles down the road to the Rattlesnake Lake parking lot on the right.

Little Si Round Trip – 4.7 miles Elevation Gain – 1,300 ft Difficulty – Easy to moderate depending on skill level  Directions: Traveling on I-90 East, approaching North Bend, take exit for 436th Ave SE and turn left. Head 0.5 miles on 436 Ave SE and take a left on SE North Bend Way. Proceed 0.3 miles and turn right on SE Mount Si Road. The main parking lot for Little Si will be 0.4 miles on your left as the road straightens out after the bend (if you pass 439 Pl SE or 440 PL SE, you have driven too far).  There is an overflow parking lot west of the main lot tucked into SE Mt Si Rd and 434 Ave SE. There is a trail connecting the two. Be warned that both lots may be full on weekends. There are two toilets in the main parking just off the trailhead. Discover Pass is required.   

Little Si
Round Trip – 4.7 miles
Elevation Gain – 1,300 ft
Difficulty – Easy to moderate depending on skill level

Directions: Traveling on I-90 East, approaching North Bend, take exit for 436th Ave SE and turn left. Head 0.5 miles on 436 Ave SE and take a left on SE North Bend Way. Proceed 0.3 miles and turn right on SE Mount Si Road. The main parking lot for Little Si will be 0.4 miles on your left as the road straightens out after the bend (if you pass 439 Pl SE or 440 PL SE, you have driven too far). 
There is an overflow parking lot west of the main lot tucked into SE Mt Si Rd and 434 Ave SE. There is a trail connecting the two. Be warned that both lots may be full on weekends. There are two toilets in the main parking just off the trailhead. Discover Pass is required.

 

Talapus & Olallie Lakes Round Trip – 6.2 miles Elevation Gain – 1,220 feet Difficulty – Moderate  Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 45. Turn left, and drive under the freeway on FR 9030. In 1 mile follow the road around to the right at a junction. Continue straight on a gravel, sometimes severely potholed road to the trailhead at the road's end. Northwest Forest Pass and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permit required, both available at the trailhead.

Talapus & Olallie Lakes
Round Trip – 6.2 miles
Elevation Gain – 1,220 feet
Difficulty – Moderate

Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 45. Turn left, and drive under the freeway on FR 9030. In 1 mile follow the road around to the right at a junction. Continue straight on a gravel, sometimes severely potholed road to the trailhead at the road's end. Northwest Forest Pass and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permit required, both available at the trailhead.