It’s officially fall and for many people that means evenings indoors coupled with pumpkin spice lattes and bite size candies. Lots of bite size candies! It’s no wonder we gain a few pounds every fall and winter! Along with the comfort foods comes the cold, wet weather which makes staying active and sticking to our wellness goals a creative task.
This year, avoid falling into your usual fall routine and find a way to stay healthy and active despite the dreary weather. Here are some of my favourite tips to keep moving in the fall.
Tips for Staying Active:
1. Set goals. If you haven’t been setting goals while working out, now is the time to start. It can be anything meaningful and manageable that you want to work on. Once you have a goal to focus on, break it down into workouts and schedule them in ahead of time. I prefer writing these down with pen and paper so it’s more concrete (and harder to just delete!). Making time for your goals in your schedule allows you to hold yourself accountable for your health.
2. Mix it up. Do something different. If you always go for runs, drop in to a Zumba class or a yoga class when it’s raining. If you always go to the gym and lift weights, go enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage and jog around your local park. Giving yourself different workouts will keep you interested and motivated.
3. Workout with friends. Accountability is everything! Setting a regular schedule to meet up with a few friends and do some sort of exercise can make all the difference to your success. If you don’t have anyone to workout with in your current circle of local friends, branch out and see if there are any walking groups or local exercise groups where you might meet some new work out buddies.
4. Dress appropriately. Sure, you don’t want to be going out for a jog in a snowstorm, but you can’t let a little bit of bad weather slow you down. One of the biggest reasons for avoiding an outdoor workout in the fall is that you don’t have the proper attire. Dress in layers, bring a waterproof jacket just in case, and invest in weather appropriate workout outerwear. There are fantastic toques, gloves, and scarves made out of dry-fit material that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable during a cold outdoor workout.
And while those are the tips that keep me going through the colder season, my friend with the body of a goddess, personal fitness trainer, yoga instructor, and current doctoral student with the Sports Science department at Malmö University (Sweden), Sepand Mashreghi reminds us to keep things short and intense with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which is proven to be more effective at building muscle while burning fat. Mashreghi also points out that people need to take advantage of the weather. When it’s sunny, get outside and run, do yoga on the deck, or play with your kids – just get out and get moving! When the weather takes a turn for the worst, find your favourite YouTube video to work out along with and don’t feel trapped by an inability to make it to the gym. To help keep you motivated and excited, Mashreghi suggests setting up fitness challenges with your friends. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Mashreghi points out that rest days are important and to use those rainy days to rest and spend time with loved ones.
Staying active is about moving your body and having fun – your body and mind will thank you for it!