Sure, the weather’s getting colder, but it’s actually a great time to get out there and work on your fitness routine. Whereas New Year’s resolutions often fade after the party, starting a new workout plan in fall allows you to create good habits for the holiday season. And if you’re in school—or your kids are—you probably think of September as the beginning of the year anyway!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started with your fall workout:
- Work with the weather. Get inspired by gorgeous fall leaves by walking, running, biking, or skating in the park. And if you’re lucky enough to live near a beach or lake, your options for kayaking and canoeing are wider than ever, since those areas tend to be less crowded during the fall.
- Learn something new. School isn’t the only thing that starts in the fall! Gyms often start new classes around this time of year, which means great introductory sales. Plus, if you’re learning something new, you’ll likely start off slowly with burning calories and build up as you become more comfortable with the new routine. By that time, it’ll be warm weather again—just when you want to be toning up for swimsuit season.
- Focus on you. Wellness is about more than just your body. Consider working on other areas, too: take up meditation or yoga, learn a new language, take an art class. Expand your horizons.
- Give it time. The amount of time it takes your body to get used to a new workout varies, but many experts agree that three to six weeks is about right. So if you feel like giving up right away…don’t! Commit to your routine (with modifications as you need them) for the best results. Make your life easier by choosing something that’s fun and convenient—a nearby walk, a video you can do at home, or a gym class that’s on the way home from work or school.
- Don’t be scared of the dark! Fall usually means it gets darker earlier, so if you’re going to be outside, make sure to wear light-colored clothing, a reflective vest, and/or lights so cars can see you.
- Layers are your friends. The experts recommend three layers to keep you warm and dry. The layer closest to your skin should be clothing with wicking capabilities, often called DriFIT. This awesome fabric wicks moisture away from your skin, which keeps you from having to deal with being wet and cold. Over that, you should have a layer to keep you warm, and on the outside, a layer to deal with the elements—a windbreaker or raincoat, for example.
- Motivate yourself! Remember why you’re doing this workout. Are you trying to lose weight? Tone up? Get ready for a 5k? Everyone has different reasons, and you’re more likely to stick with a routine that means something to you.
Don’t let fall pass you by! It’s a great time to take stock of your workout and enjoy the best parts of the season.