How many New Year's Eves have you spent sipping champagne and vowing to get more fit in the coming year?
And how many times have you failed to follow through?
December 31, talking over a drink, is too late to set goals and make promises.
Fall, on the other hand, 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.
With the change of seasons comes a renewed time to rethink and restart.
Just imagine, this New Year's Eve (which is only 4.5 months away!) in that little black dress having everyone at the party ask you what you've done to look so good.
Here are 10 ways 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 are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures.
Walking, hiking and cycling are all awesome in the fall. I love it cause you don't get as sweaty and not to mention, all the aspens in Colorado!
Discover park trails and take in some new scenery, whether you're walking to the store, biking, or taking your razor scooter out for a spin ( I still do that).
In places where snow falls early, try cross country skiing or go snowshoeing. Or, if you live near the beach, get out and play volleyball, throw the Frisbee around, or play a vigorous game of fetch with your dog.
It's a great time to do beach activities because it's so much less crowded.
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.
Raking leaves or doing some fall outdoor yard work is a great way to get the heart pumping, and its calorie torching!
2. Think outside the box.
Always wanted to learn to tap dance?
Attempt to box?
Master the jump rope?
Take a group class?
Fall is a great time to learn something new.
Many classes at gyms and elsewhere get started in the fall, so look around and see if something intrigues you.
And with school starting, you have more time to check out those classes.
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3. Join a fitness challenge.
Join a group challenge to take your fitness and accountability to the next level.
Challenges build habits, they make your goals into lifestyle. Not only do they give accountability but they create a sense of community. You have a new group of people that understand your struggle, joys and your hard work.
You will learn new skills, leave with a sense of accomplishment after very workout & become healthier & fitter.
4. Integrate exercise into your life.
You already know the obvious suggestions: park farther away from your destination; take stairs instead of elevators; take a walk during your lunch break.
Here are a few that are less obvious:
If you're spending the afternoon taking kids to soccer practice, instead of reading a book or visiting with another parent, why not walk around the outside of the field while they practice
Or try walking meetings.
Take the meeting outside, go for a walk, brainstorm, and figure out who's going to take what responsibilities. You'll be surprised how things get achieved much more quickly, and everyone feels better for doing it.
You can even get moving while you get motivated -- for fitness or other life goals. Find a podcast and walk while you listen for 30 minutes.
5. Rejuvenate yourself.
Fall is the time to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. 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, he says, so you can feel good physically, mentally, emotionally,
6. 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.
Stick with a program for a month. After a month, behavior patterns will have adapted and it will be much easier to stick with it after that.
7. Strive for the 3 Cs.
Commitment, convenience, and consistency, the three Cs and says having all three will lead to a successful fitness program.
First, exercise takes commitment. When a client complains to me about a lack of time; tell me something I haven't heard before.
We're all busy; that's just part of our lives.
You have to start planning exercise, just like you do everything else like meetings, dinners, etc.
How much time do spend watching tv? Scrolling through instagram? Facebook?
Put in on the calendar, 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.
If you want to see serious results you have to be really freaking consistent.
8. Deal with darkness.
The best way to enjoy fall is to exercise outdoors. But it is getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in the morning, so be smart and safe.
Just because it's 6 p.m. (or a.m.) and dark doesn't mean you can't work out. If walking
or running outdoors, wear a reflective vest and carry a flashlight.
When cycling, affix a light to your helmet or bike.
If possible, use trails or a local school track to avoid vehicle traffic.
Also, never go alone or without someone you trust knowing exactly where you are.
9. Be an active TV watcher.
Many people get geared up for fall premieres of their favorite television
If you're going to sit down and watch hours of TV, get moving!
Make a date with exercise and TV.
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. One thing I love to do is watch my netflix show (friends) or hulu(scandal) on my phone while on the elliptical or treadmill. I actually spend way more time doing cardio than I would If I weren't watching!
10. Find your motivation.
People are 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 group class.
Find an accountability partner. If you have someone meeting you at the gym or on the trail you are way more likely to go.
Remember too, that anything worth having takes work.
What are you going to do today to get you closer to your goals?
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
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