But don’t let all of summer’s hard work go to waste—instead, build a comprehensive fall workout plan that keeps you on track and looking better than ever, just in time for the holidays. Here’s how.
Find the Best Time to Work Out1 of 14
In the summer, many people like to work out early to beat the heat. Once it gets cold though, they switch to after-work exercise. To help you determine what time is best for you, try both and see which one feels better. Also tune into which one helps you feel more energized. Are you exhausted after a morning workout and struggling to make it through the work day? Can you still sleep after an evening workout? Find out what's right for you and stick to that choice.
Take Advantage of the Weather2 of 14
We all know fall as the season of amazing weather, so it's the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor exercise activities. Whether you want to hike, bike or just walk around the block after dinner, make time each week to get outside. The cool crisp air is good for your body, and it makes outdoor exercise more comfortable than the summer heat.
Start With Quick Cardio3 of 14
Life gets busy this time of year and sometimes it can be hard to squeeze in a workout between work meetings, daily commutes and time at home with the family. HIIT cardio is great for a busy schedule—workouts can be short and done almost anywhere—and the high intensity helps you stay lean and fit.
Set Realistic Expectations4 of 14
There is a good chance exercise will be more difficult in the colder months than it was this summer. Don't expect perfection. These types of high expectations will set you up for failure and feelings of inadequacy. Accept that some days the weather or your busy schedule will derail a workout.
But Don't Forget to Have Goals5 of 14
Goals keep you focused, so set two or three for the fall season. Maybe you want to train for a half marathon, consistently log your nutrition or exercise three to five times a week. Whatever it is, write it down and put it where you can see it.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake6 of 14
Alcohol poses a number of problems. It is high in calories, lacks nutrient value and lowers your inhibitions. As the holidays approach, be conscious of your alcohol intake. It might be unrealistic to cut it out completely, but do your best to limit yourself to a glass of wine here and there.
Keep an Activity and Food Log7 of 14
Record your daily exercise, plus what and how much you eat. Some researchers have found that just the act of recording results in better choices and a healthier diet. By writing everything down, you also may start to notice patterns. For example, you may observe that the days you don't exercise are also the days you eat poorly. You can then take appropriate action.
Stock Up on In-Season Produce8 of 14
Nutrition is an important part of your fitness plan. Find out what fruits and vegetables are in-season and load them into your cart every week. You will save money and consume the vitamins and nutrients when they're at their peak.
Include Workouts You Can Do at Home9 of 14
We do what comes easiest, so set yourself up for success by finding a close and convenient exercise location, which could be your own living room. Thanks to workout DVDs, free YouTube channels and mobile apps, it's never been easier to get a killer workout in without having to trudge all the way to the gym.
Team Up with Family Members or Friends10 of 14
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 run, hike or even a fitness class. Exercise partners keep your motivation high, and you can both encourage each other to continue towards your goals.
Vary Your Exercise Routine11 of 14
Don't allow boredom to sabotage your goals. Keep your exercise routine fresh and varied so your body stays interested (and fit). Skip the outdoor routine once a week to join a fitness class or try running interval sprints instead of biking them.
Take Advantage of your Child's Sport Team12 of 14
If you have kids, then you know fall means officially back-to-school time. Instead of sitting on the bench or sidelines during your child's soccer practice or cross-country meet, get up and walk the perimeter of the court or do lunges and push-ups next to the course. It may seem small, but incorporating exercise any time your child has a commitment quickly adds up.
Turn Your TV Time Into Workout Time13 of 14
Fall is home to some great TV. Each week you might have a date with a certain TV show, but you can turn that TV date into a fitness date as well. Complete a bodyweight strength circuit while you watch a 30-minute program or use the commercials to blast away calories with quick cardio intervals.