Fall is well upon us, and winter will be here soon. That comes with excitement for some people. For others, these are the struggle months. No matter how you feel about the cooler seasons, fitness is always important. If you traditionally struggle with fitness in these months, then a few good tips could go a long way towards helping you to stay fit. Even if fall and winter are positive times for you, these tips might help all the same.
Embrace the changing of the season
There are two easy ways to embrace the changing of the season. You can pick the one that appeals to you on a personal level.
If you enjoy the fall and/or winter, then embrace the changing of outdoor light. Do fall-based exercises. This can include hikes in the refreshing cold. You can trek through the snow, or you can just get outside to see the change of the leaves.
If you're not into fall and winter weather, then embrace the idea of indoor workouts. Renew your gym membership. Get on the treadmill. Take up basketball with a local group. Find a way to get some exercise without fighting against the cooler, darker weather patterns.
Find external goals
One of the best possible ways to get ahead on fitness is to find an event or group activity. This creates an external drive, and it can help you overcome seasonal depression or the general challenge of working out during the cooler months.
There are plenty of races in the fall. If that’s not your thing, you can look into intense hiking trips in the Southwest. You might try climbing, swimming or other activities that interest you and remain accessible throughout the fall and winter.
Cut back on drinking
This won’t apply to everyone, but on average, drinking spikes in the fall and winter. As the days get shorter, people drink more, and that can impact fitness.
Maybe it’s easier to drink after dark when the majority of the day takes place after sunset. Regardless of the deeper why, every inch of fitness comes at the cost of effort on your part. One of the easiest ways to cut into this price is to cut back on the booze. When you do this, success will come easier.
Get your heart rate up
This is something that is easy to overlook. If you escalate your heart rate three times a week, your general fitness will remain pretty good.
If you’re a regular athlete, it might be a little tougher to get your heart rate up. Running, jumping jacks, eight-count body builders, and plenty of other exercises can help you. Where there's a will, there’s a way.
If you're behind your fitness goals, getting your heart rate up is easy. You can push your no-weight squats, plan an intense workout game (like Beat Saber) or learn a new dance. There are countless ways to get your heart rate up. Your goal is to do it for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
Be kind to yourself
About half of the population struggles with fitness every fall and winter. If you’re in this half, then accept the fact that you’re going to miss some goals. For most people, internalized self-flagellation is not helpful. Pre-forgive yourself for skipping some workouts. It’s okay, really!
You don't have to come back stronger in the next round of fitness. Instead, you can think of it this way. Every workout you complete in the off season is a measure of progress when things turn more in your favor.
Fall and winter don’t have to be brutal to your fitness. Even if you just mitigate how out of shape you get, you’ll find that your efforts were well worth it come spring. Everything will be that much easier, and you can pursue even loftier fitness goals that help you to be your best self. If you fall off the wagon, every step forward is one you don't have to take later.