staying motivated

Fall Into Fitness

I love Fall! I skip the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (gross) and the Pumpkin Beer (even grosser) but I love Halloween and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and cooler weather. I love the fall leaves and crisp air. And I love getting re-focused on my fitness goals.

For me, I tend to gain weight in the summer time and lose weight in the winter time (kind of the opposite for most people). Part of that is summer BBQs and vacations and indulging. And part of that is that in the summer time my fitness switches to the outdoors–hiking, biking, running. So lots of cardio and less weight lifting. Once the weather turns bad, I move my workouts indoors and focus on weight lifting.

Maybe you are the same. Or maybe you are ready to make a change in your life and want to kick start the plan before the mad-rush of January 1st!

So no more excuses! Here are some ideas on how to get started (or restarted) on your path to fitness!

Schedule It

If you are new to fitness or trying to get back on the bandwagon after a break, I think the best way to get into the habit of working out is to schedule it. I’ve done this since the beginning. I schedule my workouts in my Google Calendar like appointments that can’t be missed! It makes it a lot harder to skip the workout!

I know a lot of people say “never miss a Monday” because it sets the mood and motivation for the week. I kind of agree with that. But if it’s not your thing, maybe Mondays are the hardest day of the week for you, make your workout week start on Tuesday. Maybe you aren’t a morning person–schedule your workouts during lunch time, or go after work if you can. Figure out what works for you and what you will stick with, and do it!

Fit It In When You Can

Sometimes you just don’t have time for an hour long sweat session. In the past, I would have tried to make it happen no matter what, but since I had my son and went back to work full time, I am finding it harder to make that happen. Weekends are my long workout times because I do have more time. But during the week I just don’t anymore. I work long hours and when I get home I have about an hour or so to spend with my baby before he goes to bed. So I fit in my week day workouts during my lunch break at work. It’s not the same as before, but it’s better than nothing! And if you are really short on time, try interval/HIIT training or kettle bell training.

I have access to a shower at work, so that makes it easier. I have a bag of toiletries that I keep at work (travel sized) and mini hair dryer. I keep some towels at work, too. All of that makes it easier to workout at lunch. If you don’t have access to a shower, my tip: BABY WIPES! You can clean up and freshen up before going back to the office.

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

I is for Intervals

Too Busy to Exercise

There are actually a lot of weight and body weight exercises you can do without belonging to a gym!

Injuries

I was talking to a friend recently who is dealing with an injury that is lingering. I suggested that she try and findΒ something she can do, if nothing else, for her mental health. I’ve been through too many injuries to count. I remember the worst, when I couldn’t run at all for months, I still had to find some kind of exercise I could do. That was when I started lifting weights. I needed some activity to maintain my fitness level and to help stave off depression from lack of activity. I focused on upper body weights and core and it made a huge difference!

8 Mistakes I Made While Injured

W is for Walking

Try Something New

If I lived in a place where the weather was a little more predictable, I would totally sign up for a Turkey Trot type of race. I think it’s a great idea! Signing up for a 5k in the Fall is a great way to give you something to focus on, a goal to work towards.

Couch to 5k

It’s even better if you can get a friend your partner to sign up with you! Doing something like a Halloween costume 5k or Turkey Trot with a buddy makes it more fun. Even better if you can get that person to train with you. Having an accountability partner can do wonders to staying on track.

If running isn’t your thing but you are lacking motivation to do fitness on your own, sign up for a fitness class you’ve been curious about!

Food

Another way to get back on track for Fall is that clean up the diet. This is especially important this time of year before the holiday “eat everything bad” season starts! Here are a few of my favorite recipes for fall:

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Garlicky Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash

West African Cashew Soup

Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to get fit in the Fall?

Lately

Well, I’ve gotten the first daycare cold of the season! Logan gave me his head cold last week. So far it’s pretty mild but lingering and now turning into a cough. πŸ™ I took it easy over the weekend and tried to get some extra rest. Michael picked up pho for dinner, which is magical when you’re sick!

My gym membership expired recently and I re-joined. There is a new gym in my neighborhood that is REALLY nice. The pool is gorgeous and overlooks the river. Everything is brand new.

I tried half of a spin class in the new gym (I was late). It’s been about three years, at least, since I’ve been to a spin class!

It was fun and hard work! I was drenched in sweat by the finish. I used to go to spin class once a week religiously in the winter time, mostly to stay in cycling shape for summer biking. But since having Logan, I am spending less time in classes at the gym simply because I just can never count on making the schedule.

My workouts have been fairly consistent. I’m still working out 5 days a week, but during the week with my new work schedule, I am working out at lunch time in my office gym. It’s not quite the same and it’s a fast, rushed workout, but it’s better than not doing anything. On my lunch time workouts I usually use the elliptical and do some quick free weights, or I run on the treadmill.

It’s not ideal. But I just don’t have time to go to the gym after work anymore–especially if I want to see Logan after work. Once he starts going to bed at a later hour, I think it will be easier to fit in a gym session once or twice a week. But for now, this is what I’m doing to make it work.

I still have 13 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. Sigh.

In other news…it’s been over a month since Yggdrasil passed away. It’s been a hard time for me. It’s getting better, but I’m still sad and I still miss him. I don’t think about him 24/7 anymore, which in a way is kind of sad in itself, but when I do think about him I get teary-eyed and miss my cuddle buddy. It’s so hard having someone who was with you for 15 years suddenly not be there.

Maya is having a hard time, too. She cries a lot. I know she’s lonely and misses Yggdrasil. It makes me wonder if I should think about getting another cat so she’s not lonely. πŸ™ I don’t know that I’m ready. But one thing that has been kinda nice, Maya is now coming out more and wants me to pet her. This is something that hasn’t happened since she was a kitten!

Lately she’s even started jumping up on the bed to get pets! She’s still super skittish and it doesn’t last long, but it’s progress. πŸ™‚

It feels like summer is officially over here in Portland. The mornings are dark and cold. We still have some nice weather in the foreseeable future, but I’m kinda looking forward to fall!

I think it’s going to be a fun autumn with Logan. He’s older now and going to the pumpkin patch will be really fun this year! It’s so cool seeing everything through his eyes. πŸ™‚ I got his Halloween costume and I’m super excited to see him walking up and down our street trick or treating!!! It’s going to be too adorable!

This is the costume I WANTED to get, but…not for almost $50! LOL

Haha! Michael made a good point in that Logan wouldn’t have kept the ears/beard/hat on anyways, so…probably for the best.

Alright, time to wrap up this wrap up. Happy Fall!

P.S. It’s already snowing up on Mount Hood! πŸ˜€