10 Tips to Get Fit This Fall

Fall is here. School is in session and schedules are crazy, but the weather is amazing. Right now is the perfect time to start a fitness routine that will prepare you for the holiday season. Use this season to your advantage. Here are some tips for developing a fitness routine this fall.

1. Enjoy the weather and get outside. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor exercise activities. The cool crisp air is good for your body to breathe, and it makes outdoor exercise more comfortable than the summer heat. Check out your local parks for camping and hiking, or search your city for local bike routes.

2. Dress for the cool, dark outdoors. Daylight slips away during the fall, so plan accordingly. Take advantage of the lighter mornings and walk or ride a bike. Dress in layers with a synthetic layer closest to your body to keep you cool. Remember to cover your hands and head. If you are planning to exercise after dark, wear light colored clothing and make sure your bike has a light or reflectors attached.

3. Find a convenient exercise location. We do what comes easiest, so set yourself up for success by finding a close and convenient exercise location. Find a park or fitness club closest to your workplace or home.

4. Plan ahead. Eliminate any excuse you may have for skipping a workout by planning ahead. Have a gym bag packed and in your trunk at all times. Set a specific time that you will exercise each day and stick to it. Know your exercise location ahead of time. If today is a bike day, have your bike with you and have a trail pre-selected.

5. Take advantage of your child's sports team or exercise class. Every week you take your child to basketball practice and sit on the bench and read. Now that you have a fitness goal, get up and walk the perimeter of the court or do lunges and push-ups next to your bench. If you child has enrolled in the YMCA zumba fit class, why not find an adult fitness class that meets at the same time? Look for ways to get up and moving while you wait.

6. TV time = fitness time. Each week you might have a date with a certain TV show. Turn that TV date into a fitness date as well. Bring your home fitness equipment (stability ball, bands, dumbbells, stationary bike) into the TV room. Complete a full strengthening circuit while you watch, or use the commercials to blast away calories with interval cardio.

7. Team up with family members or friends. You are not the only one who could benefit from a fit lifestyle this fall. Encourage a family member or friend to join you for a hike, bike ride, or even a fitness class. Motivation stays higher with an exercise partner and you can both encourage each other to continue towards your goal.

8. Stock up on in-season, fresh produce. Each season features a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits that our bodies need for sustained health. Educate yourself on what is fresh this season. You will save money and consume the vitamins and nutrients that your body craves.

9. Set specific goals and vary your exercise routine. Success comes by knowing exactly what the target is. Are you trying to lose weight, build strength, be more active every day? Set your goals and remind yourself of them frequently. Don't allow boredom to sabotage your goals. Keep your exercise routine fresh and varied to keep your body interested. Skip the outdoor routine once a week to join a fitness class or run interval sprints instead of biking them.

10. Commit to 30 days of fitness. It takes about 30 days to cement a new habit into your routine. Stick with your fitness plan for this month, and you will be on your way to staying fit through the holiday season.

Indianapolis Fitness Examiner Julie Grubbs resides in Bloomington, Indiana where she works as a fitness consultant and personal trainer.

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