Gym-free

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 find 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?

A Day on the Mountain

We had the full day on Sunday to spend time with my brother, Andy, before I had to take him back to the airport to fly home. We decided to go for a hike on Mount Hood. It was a perfectly lovely day — going to be 90 in Portland but 75 up on the mountain! We were up early anyways–Logan is up when he’s up and Andy was dealing with a time change. So we had breakfast at home, packed up the car, got sandwiches as New Seasons and then drove up the mountain.

After living in Philly and now Minneapolis, Andy has really missed hiking and mountains and was really excited to go hiking up on Mount Hood. I decided Twin Lakes (at the Frog Lake Trailhead) would be the best choice because it’s a fairly easy hike with gorgeous views and nice lakeside spots for lunch. 

It’s a pretty short hike to the first lake, I think about 2 miles? It was warmer up there than we were expecting, though. One of the things I love about this hike is that when you turn the corner on the trail just before you get to the lake, you get a sneak peek of the amazing blue waters through the trees. It’s really pretty. 

We got to the first lake and took a break. I let Logan out of the backpack so he could wander around and explore. We ate lunch and just enjoyed the cool breeze of the lake. There were TONS of butterflies flying all around. It was kind of crazy how many there were.

 

There were some people swimming in the lake and they said it was pretty cold. But it looked so nice and refreshing. I kinda wished I could swim. 

We saw lots of evidence of horses on the trail, but this was the first time doing this hike where we actually got to see the horses! This was the first time Logan got to see a horse. His eyes were really big and he seemed mesmerized by them. 

After lunch we hiked another mile up the trail to the Upper Twin Falls. We hung out and let Bella off her leash so she could splash around in the lake. You can see some videos of it on my instagram. It’s pretty funny!

It was getting late in the day and Logan was starting to get fussy so we packed up and headed back down the trail. Somehow, it was uphill both ways. 😉

We got back to the car and happily got in the AC.

Hike Stats

Miles: 6.11 miles

Time: 2 hours

Calories Burned: 842

Bella was pooped and fell asleep right away. Logan was nodding off a little bit. We made one stop on the way home: Timberline.

Andy’s never been there so we stopped so he could see The Shining hotel. 😉 We walked around a little bit, took some photos and then it was time to get home.

…with a pitstop through the Burgerville drive-thru for a mini ice cream cone.

Home for showers, bath for Bella (she was filthy!) and Logan and then dinner was hot dogs and salads on the deck. We had a few hours to hang out and then I took Andy to the airport. Sad. 🙁 I was bummed the visit was over. It was fun and nice to catch up. I wish they lived closer to home!