Sam Wood’s Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning your Mindset

His top tips to getting a spring back in your step.

There is something so special about spring and it is really important to acknowledge and embrace this. It is very common for us Melburnians and other colder states in Australia to hibernate, either quite literally or metaphorically during the cooler months, as we tend to get outside less. It’s also typical to gain a couple of kilos as we are moving less and eating more of those heavier foods. It might only be a small difference on a daily or a weekly basis but across 12 weeks of winter it can add up, and we can feel a little unmotivated and lethargic.

Then spring rolls around usually faster than we anticipate and it genuinely does something to us. We see a huge influx of sign ups on my 28 by Sam Wood online fitness program and my gym in Melbourne, The Woodshed. Springtime boosts our energy, our mood, and the motivation to kickstart again. I always say to my 28ers to embrace this natural motivation that this time of year brings and use it. Ride the wave and use it to your advantage.

To help continue to ride that wave here’s my top tips to getting a spring back in your step:

Spring clean not only your pantry but your mindset too

The term ‘spring clean’ is an interesting one as we often are referring to our house or our wardrobe, but we can take it one step further and have a look at our motivations.

1. Declutter Fridge and pantry: Go through and chuck out all the foods that are not going to be eaten or may be a temptation to you if you are looking to turn the corner with a health kick. Also getting things neat and organised by labelling and putting your items in order – this may help increase your motivation to cook more at home.

2. Mindset: Look at the bad habits that have become a part of our weekly routine over the winter months and look ahead at what new routines or habits we can begin to integrate this time of year. You may have gotten into a Netflix binge or sleeping in more as the days get shorter – these are all normal things that can sneak up on us and we don’t realise our habits until we get a shake up at this time of the year. I personally look at whether I am getting enough sleep, watching too much television, or setting my alarm later than I used to. Then I look at what simple habits I can do to turn the corner in these warmer months…

Set your alarm earlier (and make sure your phone is out of arm’s reach!)

This helps you physically get out of bed and get you moving. You can add variation with this too. I will do a 28 workout from home some days, go to my gym, walk with the dog, or go for a walk and grab a coffee with my little one Harper. Getting yourself moving in the morning is such a good habit to get into.

Lay your clothes out the night before

I will literally put my workout clothes on the chair in my bedroom – this helps to set myself up for and get moving fast without having to think too much early on in the morning.

Take advantage of seasonal produce

Berries, avocados, mandarins, mangos, corn, broccoli, zucchini and herbs such as coriander and mint help add flavor and get you eating well easily. Don’t overthink your food, the best recipes are with 5-6 ingredients that take 5-10 mins to prepare. Just eat real food (JERF) is my philosophy.

Preparation is key

I love an hour of power to meal prep. I know If I allocate an hour of my time on either a Saturday or a Sunday I am going to eat better during the week. Going to the supermarket 3-4 times a week would be a lovely luxury, however with four kids it can be a handful even going once! I try to typically shop on a Sunday and make sure I am well set up to have my meals organised Monday-Friday and then towards the end of the week we might eat out somewhere, grab takeaway with the kids or go to a friends house.

If you feel like you are in a bit of a winter rut don’t try and do too much too early

Yes, setting goals to build up to is great, however if you have only worked out a handful of times during winter and are trying to get back to your fitness pre winter it is best to introduce exercise in a realistic manner. Incidental activity this time of year is a gamechanger. Walking, riding, swimming or taking the stairs all add that little bit extra to getting yourself moving more regularly.

Rally up a training buddy

Winter can be hard to find a friend that wants to embrace the cold, however, in spring we are all waking up from our slumber and embracing the warm weather. Put yourself out there and reach out to your circle of friends and set a target such as a fitness challenge. Let’s keep each other accountable and get ourselves moving.

And lastly, if you’ve fallen into a rut, don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re not alone. You’re one of the majority, not the minority, and this is how we slowly but surely work our way out of it!

You can access Sam’s @28bysamwood program online and follow his life on Instagram @samjameswood.

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