Summer is winding down and it’s time to prepare for Autumn. For me, each change of season offers a time of reflection and renewal. I like four distinct seasons (and that’s what we usually get in this area) because the outer world reminds me of where I’ve just been for three months – in my outer body and inner attitude – and of where I’m going these next three.
But you know, as seasons change gradually, we can gradually slip away from our plans and goals. Cool and refreshing weather bit by bit turns to colder weather which soon enough turns to shorter days which turns to… “I was doing well this past summer, now look at me.” It happens gradually.
So what are we going to do? We’re going to treat these next three months as a whole new cycle, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to gear up for Fall starting right now.
Again, keep in mind, we’re quickly approaching prime eating season. But that just means this Autumn will be a great time to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months. Take charge this time around.
And who knows? This year, you might be in great shape before that New Year’s Eve party rolls around.
Here are some tips to start making the most of the season.
1. Take advantage of the weather. 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. These months provide a robust opportunity to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures.
2. Learn a new skill. Follow my logic on this one (the women may get this before the guys). Fall is the perfect time to gain new physical skills because you burn fewer calories when you begin a new activity (thanks to the learning curve). If you learn something new now, by next spring and summer, you’ll have mastered the skill — and you’ll burn more calories doing it, just in time for swimsuit season. That’s called swimsuit logic or maybe sweater logic, since, as we all know, sweaters do more than keep us warm.
3. Be an active TV watcher. With the election and fall premieres flooding the airwaves (and that little game called football), make sure if you’re going to sit down and watch hours of TV that you get moving. While you watch,you can walk or run in place or do standing lunges or maybe some 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.
4. Rejuvenate yourself. Get a massage after your run. Learn to meditate. Take an art class. Treat yourself not just with exercise but other activities that promote wellness so you can feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Use the change of season as a reminder to reengage with whatever forces or motivations move you toward well-being and fitness.
5. Remember the 30-day rule. It takes about four weeks for the body to adapt to lifestyle changes. That’s why people who give up on their fitness programs tend to do so within the first 30 days. So, when the alarm goes off in the morning and it’s darker and colder, don’t roll over and hit the snooze button. Don’t do it. Try to stick with a program for at least a month. After a month, behavior patterns will have adapted and it will be much easier to stick with it after that.
6. Strive for the 3 Cs. Commitment, Convenience, and Consistency
First, exercise takes commitment. We’re all busy; that’s just part of our lives. You have to start planning exercise, just like you do everything else. You plan your meetings, dinners, and getting kids to lessons and practice. Well, put your exercise sessions on the calendar (in ink), because later always turns into never.
Convenience means choosing a gym that’s close by, or an activity you can do at home, or a time when you’re not likely to be interrupted.
Finally, there’s consistency. I’d rather see a brand-new client work out for 10 minutes a day rather than one hour every month.
7. Find your motivation. We’re all motivated by different things. 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. (FITNEZ BOOT CAMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Creating a challenge for yourself will motivate you, as will encouragement and accountability,
Remember too, that anything worth having takes work!
In Health and Fitness,