Updated: Sep 6, 2021
I’ve seen countless articles and blog posts online about how fall is a great time to get into shape. From my own experience, I completely agree; however, I feel that some of these articles fall short by not providing tips for how to actually get started (and stick with it). So, here are my thoughts on why fall is a great time to start a new routine and how you can kickstart it!
I love fall, and not even in the “pumpkin spice everything” sense. The beginning of fall is a great time to reset and reprioritize. In the summer, with kids out of school, the whole routine is often thrown off and when the kids aren’t in a routine, it’s hard to stay in one yourself. Whether you have children or not, add vacations, weddings, parties, camping and other celebrations into the mix and it’s a recipe for all play, no work(outs).
With back to school and back to work, the beginning of fall is the perfect time to set some new goals. The start of a new routine and getting back to normal, whether that means having to make lunches and usher kids off to school or heading into a busy time of year at work, can feel a bit overwhelming and stressful. A new fall exercise routine will not only have physical benefits but will also support your emotional and mental wellbeing through the transition into your new normal, which is especially important as the the days get shorter and colder weather approaches.
It’s important to acknowledge that exercise routines mean different things for different people and there certainly isn’t a one size fits all approach. While I personally enjoy weightlifting and cardio activities like using a Stairmaster or going for a brisk walk, I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to your own fitness routine to ensure you’re choosing something you can sustain. You can walk, jog, cycle, take a martial arts class or a dance class, participate in group fitness, work with a personal trainer, find workout videos online, practice yoga, play sports, etc.
So, if you’ve decided that you’re ready to jump into a new fitness routine to have you feeling and looking great, now is the time. Here are some tips to help get you started:
1) PLAN - Be sure to write your exercise routine right into your calendar and put it somewhere visible like on your phone and/or on your fridge. If it’s up there along with meetings, activities and appointments, you’ll be more likely to do it. You may even want to schedule it in at a specific time of day, because later can turn into never.
2) BE ACCOUNTABLE – Accountability is one of the biggest struggles expressed by my clients before they start a training program with me. I think this is true for most of us. I still have a coach of my own because it helps me stay on track when I know I’m accountable to someone else. Having a coach, trainer, or training partner is a good way to stay accountable, but it isn’t the only way. There are many fitness and food tracking apps that have been beneficial for helping individuals stick to their plans. This also falls into the point above about writing things down. If you track your workouts and/or nutrition and put it somewhere visible, you’re more likely to stick with it.
3) TRY DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES – If you’re not sure what type of exercise you’ll enjoy, try out different options. For example, you might give a strength training routine a try first. If you don’t particularly enjoy it at the beginning, don’t give up. Starting a new routine is tough and it can feel overwhelming to learn something new but stick with it for a few weeks and then reassess. If the routine isn’t working for you, give something else a shot for a few weeks.
4) MAKE USE OF TV TIME – Yep, you can still watch tv. Many people get geared up for fall premieres of their favourite tv shows, and it’s easier than you think to add a bit of movement into your tv time. If you have a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical, set those up in front of the tv if possible, or set your laptop up near the cardio equipment and watch your shows from there. No need to sprint or work up a major sweat (unless you want to); slow and steady will work just fine! Cardio equipment isn’t necessary to make the most of your tv time though. You can walk or jog in place during commercials or do squats, lunges, push-ups, etc. In a one-hour television show, you probably have about 20 minutes’ worth of commercial breaks, so that’s a great opportunity to burn some calories without heading to the gym.
5) DON’T MAKE EXCUSES – This is another big one. “I just can’t find the time”. Listen, we’re all busy. That’s just life. If you want to start a new fitness routine, it’s important to take note of any conscious or subconscious excuses you might make to let your fitness goals fall to the wayside. The wonderful thing about fall is that the weather is mild. Go for walk before work or hit the gym or go for a walk or jog during your lunch break. Get up 30 minutes before the kids and rock a quick workout at home. Take the kids or the dog for an after-school hike or bike ride. The options are endless.
6) TRY OUT NEW HEALTHY RECIPES – Warm socks, cozy sweaters, and the leaves changing colour: all signs of fall. Another sign of fall is comfort food. Soups, chilis, stews – YUM. There are tons of amazing healthy recipes online for those fall favourite comfort foods, many of which are one-pot meals. This is great for making food in bulk for meal prep and easy dinners (leaving you more time to exercise) but also creates less dishes, which is a major bonus!
If you have questions about what you can do to jumpstart a fall fitness routine, reach out to me anytime! Always happy to help.