Spring Fever and Weekend Warriors

Written by Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC

Well, folks, it's almost spring, and many of us now have what is popularly known as "spring fever". For some people, this means breaking out the bike and the running shoes again, and jump-starting an outdoor exercise routine as the winter ends and the weather begins to warm up.

People who have not exercised all winter need to be careful as they get started again, and many "weekend warriors" can get hurt if they're not thoughtful about what they're doing. Prevent injury and problems by being proactive as you gear up for spring! 

Start Slowly

If you've been relatively sedentary all winter, you may look down at your body and be dismayed by what you see. Maybe you've gained a few pounds or just feel out of shape. Muscles that have not been used that much all winter need time to wake up and reactivate. 

Well, even if you're out of shape and want to lose 10 pounds, you're not going to lose them in a day, so your first workouts, hikes, and bike rides should take into consideration your relative level of fitness. 

If you're really uncertain about how to begin, talk to your doctor or consult a personal trainer, even if only for one or two sessions. You don't want to get hurt, and you want to maximize the gains of a renewed springtime exercise program. 

So, weekend warriors, be cautious and don't do too much too soon! 

Watch Your Sugars!

if your diabetes is under really tight control, good for you! Now, if you start exercising after not having done so all winter, watch those sugars carefully! Your sugars may bottom out quickly with exertion that you're not used to, and you may need to adjust your carb load as you ramp up the exercise. Again, a health professional like your doctor, diabetes educator, dietitian, or nutritionist may be very helpul at this time. 

Have Fun!

If you're going to get exercise, make sure you have some fun in the process. After all, if it's not fun, why do it? Choose an exercise program that works for you, and that engages your senses and the things you like. Some people hate to walk and find it boring, but bicycling is super fun for them. Others like to walk and wouldn't touch a bike with a ten-foot poll!

Whatever you do, have fun, be cautious and thoughtful, consult the professionals who can help you get started healthily and safely, and enjoy the end of winter and the coming of spring!