Regardless of a person’s sex or age or where they live, January 1st tends to be the day that people around the world make promises to eat better and get fit. Instead of waiting around a couple months to make resolutions that you may or may not keep, why not start improving your lifestyle now? Fall is perfect for new fitness plans and goals because it helps you set good habits for the holiday months to come.
Here are five ways to kick-start healthy living as fall sets in and the year winds down:
1. Use the weather to your advantage.
Fall months are often spent carving pumpkins, picking apples, and enjoying time outside in the leaves. This is the perfect time to exercise outside and take advantage of the cool, crisp air. Some activities you can do to benefit from the weather and beautiful fall scenery are walking, hiking, and cycling. You can also kill two birds with one stone by raking leaves or doing fall yard work. Both activities are a great way to burn calories and get your heart pumping.
2. Don’t just watch TV – get active!
If you are a big TV fanatic and look forward to watching your favorite series, come fall, incorporate exercise into your regular routine. Instead of vegging out in front of the tube, try running in place, lifting weights, doing standing lunges, or doing triceps dips off the couch, at least during commercials. An hour-long show, after all, has nearly 20 minutes of commercial time – and that’s time you could be utilizing to improve your health.
3. Find easy ways to exercise.
Without exercise, you can’t really be healthy; and you should incorporate it into your daily life. Besides the obvious suggestions like choosing a parking space at the far end of the lot, taking the stairs, or walking during break times, there are many other tips that you can try out. For example, if your kids have practiced for sport, try walking around the field while they practice instead of reading a book or talking to another parent. You can also move and get motivated at the same time by listening to inspirational music or motivational talks as you walk.
4. Remember for the 3 Cs.
Commitment, convenience, and consistency: these are the three Cs that will set in motion an effective fitness plan. Exercising takes commitment, so get over the “lack of time” issue and plan working out into your schedule. If you take a time to put it on your calendar, you will be more likely to do it. For convenience, choose a time where you will not be interrupted while doing an activity at home or going to a gym close by. Finally, for consistency, it is better to have a little bit of exercise time each day than a large chunk of time once a month.
5. Keep the 30-day rule in mind.
For the body to adapt to changes, it takes about four weeks; however many people give up on fitness plans within a month of starting. Even though it is much easier to hit the snooze button and stay in bed when it is darker and cooler, try to stick with your fitness program for at least a month so you can see results. After the first month, your body will have adapted, and it will be a lot easier to carry on with your exercise.