For many of us, as the weather gets colder it becomes harder to get off the couch and into an exercise routine. But fall is actually a great time to get motivated and 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. Don’t wait until January.
Here are 6 ways to start making the most of the season.
- Enjoy the cooler weather outdoors.
Fall months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures. Walking, hiking and cycling are all perfect activities in the fall. Discover park trails and take in some new scenery. Whether you’re walking, biking or doing another fun activity, it doesn’t have to seem like exercise to be a great workout.
- Get warm first. A proper warm-up is critical. Cooler temperatures can make your muscles tight and more prone to injuries. So it’s important to get them warmed-up prior to engaging in physical activity.
- Deal with darkness.
If possible, it’s best to exercise outdoors during daylight times. But with the shorter days that can be difficult to do. If you exercise outdoors when it is dark, wear reflective materials to ensure that you can be seen.
- Remember sunscreen.
It’s just as easy to get sunburned in fall as in summer — even more so if you’re exercising in high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 15 or higher
- Drink up.
Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout — even if you’re not thirsty. You may not seem as thirsty when it isn’t as hot out, but you can become just as dehydrated when it’s cooler outside.
- Dress in layers.
When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you’ll feel overdressed.
- If the thought of getting outside to exercise makes you dive under the covers, instead choose one of the many indoor workout options. Below are just a few of the many choices.
- Walk at an indoor location, like a mall. If you need extra motivation to get yourself to the mall, join a walking group. This will help you stay accountable to someone other than yourself.
- Join a health club. This will allow you a large variety of physical activities to choose from every week.
- If you have stairs where you live or close by, spend as little as 20 minutes at a time climbing up and down the stairs for a very intense and efficient workout.
- Most importantly, find your motivation
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.
When it’s cold outdoors, there’s no need to hit the couch. With a little knowledge and fortitude, you can meet the challenges — and reap the rewards. Remember that anything worth having takes work.