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How to Stay Motivated to Workout this Fall

It’s hard to stay motivated to workout regularly when the days start to get shorter and the temperature starts to drop. We all become a little bit more sluggish this time of year. Our early morning workout routine turns into hitting the snooze button and going back to bed!

You know the drill. Every year when we emerge from winter hibernation, we hit the fast forward button and ramp up our fitness routines in a desperate attempt to get in shape for the warmer weather. We’re all on that fitness wagon for a little while, but when fall arrives are motivation plummets and skipping the gym becomes part of our regular routine. We trade in our weights for holiday treats, our treadmill for an extra hour of TV and our morning run for another forty-five minutes of sleep.

It’s definitely possible to keep up your momentum all year round. It will just take some goal setting, planning and a little more work. Here are a few ways to get started.

Find Your Motivation

If you’re finding it more difficult to go to the gym, or if you’re hitting a plateau in your progress take a step back to revisit your fitness goals. You can even take this time to create new ones. Remind yourself why it is you started in the first place.

Once you define your goals, keep yourself motivated by switching things up a bit. Whether that entails taking a walk on your lunch break with a co-worker, creating a new workout playlist, or trying a group fitness class, committing yourself to trying something new will help keep you on track.

Spice It Up

Variety’s the spice of life! We all need variety and change to stay motivated. Choose an exercise routine that uses an assortment of exercise methods, and more importantly make sure it’s fun. If your workout is enjoyable, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Don’t use your busy lifestyle as an excuse to set exercise aside. Make the best of the time you do have. If you’re spending the afternoon taking kids to soccer practice, instead of visiting with another parent, get off your duff and walk around the outside of the field. You can also park farther away from your destination, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a walk after work.

If you are more productive at night, schedule your workout in then. Even if you jump on the treadmill or bicycle for a half hour, it’s better than doing nothing at all.

Try Something New

If you’ve been consistently using the treadmill or stair stepper since nineteen eighty-five, it’s time for a change. Why not try a group fitness class? You will meet other gym patrons with similar fitness goals and get some much-needed encouragement along the way.

Build your Schedule Around your Workout

Schedule your workout into your daily routine as you would an important appointment. After work make it a habit to go straight to the gym. Have your gym bag packed and in the car. Once your workout becomes part of your daily schedule, skipping it won’t even be an option.


Managing Stress

We all have our share of stress. Especially around the holiday season! When it comes to managing stress, staying mentally healthy is as important as staying physically fit. Slowing down throughout your day and taking a couple of minutes to breathe will pay off in the short and long-term.

Stress can also be a result of a lack of self-control and time management. Make “to do” lists for tasks such as meal planning and grocery shopping, but also accept the fact that there will be days that you won’t be able to do it all. Just do your best!

Controlling Cravings

Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Planning out meals at the beginning of the week and making sure you have protein (for example) with every meal will help control cravings and the urge to splurge. By having defined mealtimes and eating more frequently throughout the day, you will be able to avoid temptations at work, school, or in the break room. As long as you are mindful, you won’t have to restrict what you eat and you can instead focus on what fuels your body.

If you stay committed to your goals, you won’t have to feel guilty about eating that candy apple on your trip to the apple orchard. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a treat once in a while.

Stay Active Outdoors

This is a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the cool crisp air. Sign up for a 5k, half marathon, or other type of outdoor activity. You’re less likely to make up excuses if you have an upcoming event to look forward to.

Choose activities that the whole family can enjoy. Even if you go to the pumpkin patch to pick out your pumpkins or do a corn maze with the kids you’re still doing something active.

In Conclusion:

While it may seem daunting at the time, it is possible to keep up your fitness routine and momentum well after your tan lines have faded. Define your personal goals, develop healthy daily practices and be intentional in everything that you do.

At the end of the day, fitness is more than getting that perfect six-pack and looking good, it is about the quality of your life. If you want to be successful for the long-term, you have to transform more than your body; you have to change your mindset and develop a healthy lifestyle that is realistic, achievable and sustainable. Before you know it, you will be on your way to a fit and healthy lifestyle that you can enjoy all year round. Good luck to you.

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.