Tonight, at 10:29 PM, marks the official start of the 2014 Fall season. There's just something about these autumn months that get people really excited. This time of year is filled with crisp weather, delicious food, football weekends, pumpkin everything.. it's almost like there's magic in the air. Unfortunately, it can also be a recipe for disaster in terms of falling off the fitness wagon.
Later sunrises make snoozing in so much easier, while darker evenings seem to make your couch and sweatpants have an irresistible gravitation pull. Meals start to bulk up with larger portions and extra helpings make their way onto our plates. Your typical gym routine might also feel stagnant, since you've been doing the same thing since the beginning of summer. Did we mention that Fall is basically the kickoff for the indulgent Holiday Season? These are just the kinds of sneak attacks that can creep up on your motivation. Here are 5 ways to fight against "Falling Back" on your fitness agenda.
- Set New Fitness Goals: Summer is such a popular and peek time for fitness. But as the seasons start to change, so should your fitness routine. Now's the time to re-think your workout plan and possible set some new goals. The good news is they don't need to be overly intense. Look into trying 1 new group fitness class a week. Or spend an extra 10 minutes on a cardio machine you're not used to. Maybe shoot for adding 10 extra push ups and a 1 minute plank onto the end of your workout. These new goals will help keep you excited about working out and snowball your momentum throughout the autumn season.
- Get Some Sleep! But Don't Hit Snooze: Let me explain. With the sun rising later and setting earlier, you might be sleepier than ever. Since it's already tough enough getting up in the morning, start going to be bed at a reasonable hour. Don't worry, your DVR can record those late night shows for you. If the early morning is your only chance to get in a workout, the AM hours are vital for you. Basically, you've got to learn to make the most of your time. Instead of hitting "snooze", make yourself get out of bed as soon as you awake. Sure it will be tough at first, but waking up on time can make a world of difference in not only getting the gym, but on keeping you punctual throughout the rest of the day. If you just can't imagine not pressing snooze, put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room.
- Open The Door & Head Outside: Now, understand we'd love to see you inside O2 Fitness for every workout you do. But, the brisk fall weather makes it easier to take that Sunday hike or walk around the neighborhood with the dog. You'll be able to take in all the sights and smells of fall, without the overbearing heat or biting cold winter temps. Based on your weekly work schedule, hitting gym during the week is more than likely your best bet. So look to a weekend day for an outdoor exercising activity. We even offer Bootcamp which takes place outdoors (check your location's details)
- Be Weary of Food Temptation: As a mammal, it's only natural for us to want to fill up our stomachs for the winter season. But making sure you're picking the best foods for your body is the key factor here. Fall is optimal timing for soups and stews. Try bulking yours up with lots of root veggies like celery, carrots and onions to fill you up faster. Seasonal options like sweet potatoes and certain squashes can help vary your fall palate, while keeping you full and satisfied. If nothing else, think this as a great practice session for the upcoming holidays. (Psssst stay tuned to O2Speak for some upcoming fall recipes!)
- Set a Plan & Stick To It: Whether it's packing your gym bag the previous night, setting up a slow cooker meal in the morning before work or scheduling a standing gym date with your workout buddy, creating a plan is the best way to stick to your fitness routine. Knowing what you want to tackle and how you want to do it, will keep you on track and focused. I've even heard of someone sleeping in her fitness clothes so she's ready to get up and go when her alarm goes off! Talk about a time saver.
These are just a few of the options to make sure you're still springing forward with your fitness goals during the fall months. While it is important to keep your spirits and motivation high, don't forget to actually enjoy all that Fall has to offer. Pumpkin treats and all!