Get Fit this Fall
The end of summer can seem like a sad time of year, but there’s something about the cool, crisp air that can breathe some new life into your usual routine, especially when it comes to exercise. Fall is a great time to start a fitness program because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months. And who knows? This year, you might be in great shape before that New Year’s Eve party rolls around.
First, find your motivation. It’s important to first discover what your individual goals are, whether it’s losing weight, strengthening and toning, or preparing for a race or event. But goals aren’t enough to get you there; you have to be motivated by the day-to-day workouts. So choose something you’ll enjoy doing and will be likely to keep up, whether it’s walking or hiking with a friend, working with a trainer, or taking part in a “boot camp” class.
Creating a challenge for yourself will motivate you, as will encouragement and accountability, he adds. You want to know when you’re doing a good job, and when you’re not. Remember too, that anything worth having takes work.
Take Advantage of the Great Outdoors
Fall can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, pumpkin carving, a gorgeous canopy of fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. And without the heat and humidity, outdoor workouts become much more comfortable and, after an unusual summer, many of us are ready to get back to some sort of fitness routine. Fall weather, especially for our area, offers some of the best outdoor workouts all year long.
When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you’ll feel overdressed.
Walking, hiking and cycling are all awesome ways to get your blood pumping, so discover park trails and take in some new scenery while you’re walking, biking, or just get out and throw the Frisbee around. Have a dog? Play a vigorous game of fetch. If you’re near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing for an excellent whole-body workout and a great change of pace. And remember, it doesn’t have to seem like exercise to be a great workout.
Plan fall activities that involve walking: apple-picking, hunting for the perfect pumpkin or enjoying the beautiful colors with some colorful autumn walking.
Get Back to the Gym
When the weather turns iffy, getting to the gym can help you stay on track with your workouts, especially if you get involved in a variety of activities. To make the most out of your time at the gym, don’t just do the same machines each time you go, but take advantage of all your gym has to offer.
Fitness classes give an energy you gather from other people when you workout in a class setting that you often don’t get working out by yourself.
Work out with a buddy or hire a personal trainer. Get your workouts on the right track from day one with the accountability a work out buddy or trainer can give that will keep you motivated and on track.
Can’t make it to the gym? Be an active TV watcher. While you watch, you can walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do tricep dips off the couch, or lift weights. During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. In a one-hour show, you probably have close to 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption.
Try Something New
When the gym & working out indoors lead to boredom and burnout, it’s a great time to try something completely different.
Also known as a moving meditation, tai chi is a slow, fluid activity that helps improve balance and strength while keeping you relaxed and connected to your body. It can boost your mood, improve posture and even improve your heart health.