Have your eye on some fitness goals this fall but worried about how the shorter days, colder weather, and comfort of pumpkin-spice lattes are going to affect your efforts? Here are five simple tips for helping you fit as much healthy activity into life this fall.
Make the Most of the Weather
Though many of us mourn the loss of summer, the simple truth is that fall weather is usually more favorable to outdoor exercise than summer. Don’t look at lower temperatures as a downside; take advantage of the cooler days and more comfortable humidity levels that fall offers by going for a run, walk, or bike ride. The beautiful scenery is reason enough to get outside.
You don’t have to equate “staying active” with a full-on workout. Throughout the season, you’ll likely encounter plenty of opportunities to get some extra steps or movements in here or there, and it’s a great time to take advantage.
Everyone knows that the best TV shows start this time of the year, so make a plan to do some push-ups or other light exercises during commercial breaks. The yard needs to be raked, and that’s a fantastic substitute for a workout. Or take the kids to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch. You might be surprised by how much additional movement you can get in your day.
Don’t Dwell on Missed Days
Unless you’re an absolute master of time management (in which case, we applaud you), you’re going to encounter days throughout the fall where it’s just unrealistic to get to the gym or get outside to exercise.
If you miss any workouts or realize at the end of a day that you haven’t moved enough, you’re not alone — it happens to everyone. Just don’t let a missed day snowball into a missed week, a missed month, or a missed season of activity.
Don’t Wait Until Winter to Set Some Goals
With the holidays and New Year’s right around the corner, it might be tempting to tell yourself that you should just wait until 2019 to set a fitness goal. But why not start now?
Set yourself a couple of reasonable goals so you can hold yourself accountable and aim for something in particular over the next few months. It could be as simple as exercising one more day a week than you already are for the rest of the year or just to lose five pounds before Christmas.
Change It Up
Unless you’re on a strict routine or just love your exercise routine already, the changing of the seasons makes for a great excuse to switch up your exercise.
At its worst, exercise should be tolerable, and at its best, it should be enjoyable, but no exercise plan should be boring because you’ll eventually get tired of it. So take part in that exercise group you’ve been thinking about or join that spinning class that everyone’s talking about — just try new things to find something you like this fall. You’ll be glad you did.
Want to see other tips for staying physically active? Check out these resources from the American Heart Association. And be sure to talk to your primary care doctor before beginning any major fitness or workout plan.