cardio

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?

Broken Spoke!

Two weeks ago I biked to work for the first time this year and on the way home I thought I had an issue with my bike but couldn’t see anything…yeah…I figured out that I had a broken spoke on the front tire of my bike! That explained why my bike felt weird and was wobbly!

Michael kindly took my bike into the Bike Gallery and $30 and 30 minutes later I had a fixed bike. So that was nice!

Tuesday morning I biked in from Sellwood. I’d like to be able to bike in from home next week but I honestly don’t think my body is ready for it. My legs felt really slow and burned out on the bike ride in. 🙁

I biked on the Springwater trail (into another headwind!) and by OMSI, then on the east side of the Esplanade.

The trail was pretty quiet that morning. The day was warm but muggy and overcast.

I rode across the Steel Bridge. I wasn’t rushed that morning like I was the first time so I took my time and it was kind of relaxing.

I got to downtown and they are doing construction on many streets. It was a little bit different than two weeks ago and I had to go a different route to get to work because several streets were closed.

And unfortunately the detour I had to take didn’t have any bike lanes. Oh well, it was only for a few blocks. Then I was at work.

Stats:

Pretty darn good workout for a quick ride in!

Afternoon Ride

I got stuck, again, in downtown traffic and ended up walking a few blocks to the Morrison Bridge again. Once I got over the bridge it was easy peasy.

It was sunny and warm out but there was a nice breeze. It was much more pleasant of a ride home compared to last time. A few times on the ride back to the car, I thought there was something wrong with my bike again. But I looked and it seemed ok. Maybe my brain is playing tricks on me.

Afternoon Stats:

Total Miles: 10.93 

Total Calories Burned: 554

I got home and I was so hungry I wanted to eat everything in sight. Michael had been home all day working in the garden so he was also famished. He wanted to get burgers from Mike’s Drive In and I said yes. FEED ME.

Not a stellar day for the diet. 🙁 I guess I need to work on being a little more flexible on days when I do a really hard workout.

It looks like the next two weeks are going to be pretty nice here so I plan on biking next week! My hope is to lengthen my ride soon. I have to admit, my body felt ok this time except for the sit bones. It was NOT a fun bike ride home in that aspect. That’s just something that takes time getting used to.