I hate to be the one to say it, but summer is ending. How crazy is that? Does anyone else feel like we only just finished spring? It’s hard to believe that we are only days away from the season being over.
Summer always feels like an easy month to stay active. The days are longer which makes it MUCH easier to get up for that early morning run or stay up a bit later to fit in that spin class. You easily fit in your daily steps while exploring new places or going for evening walks around the neighborhood.
Fall starting (and knowing that the inevitable winter is looming) seems to take away some of that motivation. Gone are those warm days and soon enough you will want to be curled up on your couch in your comfy clothes with a hot chocolate in hand.
The mornings and nights are getting darker, Halloween candy is filling the shelves at the grocery store (if you’re me, it’s also filling your shopping cart) and way too much food is on the table at your family get-togethers leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It kind of feels like life is working against you and your fitness goals, doesn’t it? Thankfully, there are some easy ways to ensure that all your hard work in the summer doesn’t go to waste and that you stay healthy in the midst of the cooler weather and holiday season.
Set a goal
Pick a goal to focus on over the next few months. Want to lose weight? Pick a (realistic) number and date that you would like to reach it by. Maybe you’ve never run a race before but want to sign up for one next summer, or maybe you’re a seasoned 5k-er and want to expand to a 10K or a full or half marathon by a certain date. Maybe you want to start lifting more and improve your strength. There are many goals, big or small, that you can set for yourself and work towards.
My advice: write these goals down. Keep them somewhere visible and track your progress. Don’t forget about what you are working towards and make sure you celebrate every victory, no matter how small.
Try something new
Sometimes it’s hard to go to the gym and take yourself through a workout. It can get mundane and at times, downright boring. There is only one thing you can do when that happens, mix it up! See if your gym offers free classes along with membership, or check out some local fitness studios and see what options they have for a punch card. There are SO many different types of workouts out there now. Some may seem like a ‘trend’, but what do you have to lose? You may just fall in love with a new way to get fit and have some fun doing it.
My advice: don’t feel intimidated. It can be scary to try something outside of your comfort zone or to sign up for a class full of strangers. I had a really terrible experience the first Aerial Hoop class I went to. I pushed through that and I loved it by the time my 6-week session ended.
Keep healthy foods stocked
If you are anything like me, you likely have a junk food stash somewhere in your home. It’s so easy to go to it every time you feel a bit peckish. This is why it’s SO important to have healthy foods fully stocked. Keep the healthy options visible and hide away the treats that aren’t as good for you. This will make you more likely to grab an apple or some berries rather than a chocolate bar that’s hidden deep within your closet. Out of sight, out of mind.
My advice: pick one day a week to prepare your snacks. Wash your berries, cut the tops off the strawberries, chop up the lettuce. You are way more likely to reach for the healthy snacks when they are ready to go, rather than having to take the time to prepare them first. Also: popcorn in an air popper. It’s a saving grace! Buy some popcorn seasonings so that you can mix up the flavor.
Budget your week
You are more likely to save some money and not spend frivolously when you know you have a large expense coming up, correct? Why not treat food the same way? Do you already know that you want to get together with some friends on the weekend for drinks or a big meal? Or is Thanksgiving fast approaching and you have a few different family get-togethers to attend, all of which will contain copious amounts of food? You don’t have to feel guilty partaking at these times, just budget for it. Don’t have that brownie for dessert or that evening bowl of ice cream when you’re bored at home, eat the fruits and veggies and save the treats for later.
My advice: don’t deprive yourself. It’s not an all or nothing situation, you really can have your cake and eat it too, just don’t eat it every day. Not only will this help you stay on track with your goals, you’ll also feel better. No one feels great after eating too much through a week, especially if a lot of it isn’t healthy. Save those treats for when you REALLY don’t want to say ‘no’ and then get right back on track the next day. There is no shame.
These are just four ways to make sure you’re staying active and healthy through the Fall season, there are so many other ideas out there too! Even looking at those annoying weekend chores, like raking leaves and vacuuming your house, as an extra opportunity to be active can really help you get through the job.
So tell me, what do you think of these tips? What are your favorite tips to stay active and healthy during the Fall season?