fitting in fitness

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?

“I Don’t Have Time”

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  • Get up 30 minutes early to workout.
  • Ask your partner/spouse to make breakfast in the morning while you fit in a workout before work.
  • If you go out for lunch with coworkers every day, reduce it to 3x a week and spend 2 days going for long walks during lunch.
  • Instead of having friends over for beer and board games, organize a touch football or friendly soccer game.
  • Jump rope with your kids.
  • Take your kids to the park and while they play, do squats, lunges and jumping jacks.
  • If your kids are in swim lessons, spend those 30 minutes swimming laps in the lane next to them.
  • Look at your TV watching habits. Is there one show you can eliminate to fit in some fitness?
  • Watch TV and workout at the same time.
  • Get a bike trainer for your living room.
  • Swap babysitting with another mom so you can go to the gym a few times a week.
  • Run at lunch time.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator everywhere you go.
  • Do squats while you’re on the phone. Even at work!
  • Bike to work. Saves time by combining commutes AND fitness!
  • Have a set of free weights in your cubicle and do exercises during your break times. That adds up to 30 minutes a day!
  • Play tag with your kids and run around like a kid!
  • Do your school readings while on the elliptical or bike trainer!
  • While your kids are at soccer or football practice, walk the track with another mom/dad.
  • While your kids are at sports practice, run the stadium stairs.
  • Start a “Biggest Loser” contest with coworkers to stay motivated.
  • Go for hikes on the weekends with the family. Quality time + fitness = smart!
  • Keep your gym bag in the car and go straight to the gym after work. Avoid stopping at home.
  • Join a running group near work.
  • Wake up 15 minutes early to jog with your dog before work.
  • Speed walk to the store when you just need to pick up a few things.
  • Start your morning with push-ups and sit-ups.
  • Be a Weekend Warrior!
  • Instead of meeting friends for happy hour, meet them for power walks in a park.
  • Change your workouts with the seasons–in summertime, bike. In winter, snowshoe. In spring, train for a 5k. In Fall, go for a hike to see the fall colors.
  • Go dancing on Friday night.

QUESTION: How do you fit in fitness when you don’t have time?