25 Essential Fitness Tips to Get you Going this Fall
I read some great tips from Dr. Mercola on how to get yourself active this fall. Here are the 25 tips, but if you want more information, check out the whole blog at http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/09/27/25-fitness-tips.aspx.
By Dr. Mercola
There’s no need to enter into ‘hibernation mode’ when the weather turns cooler. Fall is the perfect time of year to begin or ramp up your fitness program, and this way, by the time the holidays hit, you won’t be easily sidelined (or fattened up) by all of the festivities.
Getting into your groove now also ensures that when the deep winter chill comes, you’ll be in the right place mentally and physically to continue staying active until spring.
25 Top Fall Fitness Tips
1. Set Goals
Set short simple goals, such as exercising for 20 minutes as soon as you wake up on Mondays. This makes achieving them realistic and allows you to progress to longer-term goals.
2. Make a Motivation Board
Grab a bulletin board, or go digital using Pinterest, and attach a list of your goals, progress photos, inspirational sayings, updates with your accomplishments and more. Place your motivation somewhere prominent – like your bathroom mirror or your office at work — so you’ll see it regularly.
3. Adopt the 3 “C’s”
Commitment, Convenience and Consistency: Adopt these three strategies into your lifestyle to help you stay active and eat right for good.
4. Make It Fun
Mix up your workout by trying out new activities like hip-hop dancing, yoga, kickboxing and Pilates.
5. Plan Ahead
Plan your workouts for the week ahead of time, and also plan your meals so you’re not scrambling for something to eat at the last minute (which often leads to unhealthy choices).
6. Stock Up on Healthy Food
Keep your kitchen well stocked with unprocessed, whole foods that are quick and easy to munch on. Cut-up veggies, lean meats, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts are all great options.
7. Schedule Your Workouts
Schedule your workout sessions into your calendar like you would an important meeting, and don’t miss them. You can also fit activity in throughout your day by walking, standing, climbing stairs and stretching (as opposed to sitting) whenever you get the chance. You just have to place a HIGH PRIORITY on it and schedule your day around the exercise, not the other way around.
8. Grab a Friend
Partnering up with a friend who has similar fitness goals will boost your motivation and your accountability. Plus, it’s more fun to exercise with a partner.
9. Get Outdoors
Get out of the gym and head out to your local park, sidewalk or forest preserve. Take in the changing leaves and scenery while you fit in a great workout.
10. Change It Up
Add variety to your favorite activities, such as swapping your step aerobics class for kickboxing or yoga for a day of strength training.
11. Moderation Is Key
It’s OK to indulge once in a while with your diet, just be sure to keep your goals in mind each day. If you do veer off course, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply make better choices at your next meal or try the 80:20 rule (eating right 80 percent of the time and being more lenient for the other 20).
12. No Gym? No Problem
Many of the best exercises can be done anywhere using just your bodyweight in lieu of equipment. Consider jumping jacks, push ups, squats, crunches and mountain climbers, which you can do in your home, office or hotel room. Workout DVDs and apps for your phone are also widely available.
13. Gear Up
Update your old baggy sweats with some new yoga pants, running shorts or shoes. Looking good makes you feel good and will motivate you to exercise more, and harder.
14. Snack Right
Rather than letting unhealthy snacks sabotage your diet, keep healthy snacks like apples, almonds, whey protein powder, hummus and carrots handy. Focus on what you should be eating, instead of what you shouldn’t.
15. Try Fruit for Dessert
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, a piece of whole fruit provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants without an overload of sugar. A piece of dark chocolate is another healthy treat option.
16. Stay Hydrated
Pure water is essential for healthy metabolism and detoxification, and for warding off dehydration. Try adding sliced cucumbers, lemons and limes to your water for added benefits, like help with indigestion, heartburn, headaches, and preventing water weight gain.
17. Get Proper Sleep
Lack of sleep is strongly linked to weight gain, low energy and fatigue. Without adequate sleep, you’ll have a harder time sticking to your diet and your exercise plan. Get 33 sleep tips here.
18. Workout to Music
Music helps keep you motivated while you exercise, as listening to music while exercising can increase your endurance by 15 percent. Ideally, choose upbeat music; in one study when the music’s tempo slowed, the subjects’ exertion level reduced as well. And when the tempo was increased, their performance followed suit.
19. Track Your Progress
Write down your daily workout details (how long you exercised, how much you lifted) so you can track your progress. There are many useful apps, such as Fitness Builder, if you’d rather do this digitally.
20. Ditch Your Scale
Pay attention to how your clothes fit and how your body feels rather than the number on the scale. If you must monitor your fitness more closely, body fat calipers are one of the most trusted and most accurate ways to measure body fat.
21. Take Time for Recovery
Overdoing exercise is counterproductive and can actually damage your muscle tissue and cause injuries. Give yourself adequate recovery time between workouts and be sure to alternate muscle groups or body parts in your exercise sessions.
22. Grab a Little R&R
If you’ve fallen into a workout rut, take a few days to recharge and regroup. Sometimes, taking a break from your routine can do wonders to renew your motivation.
23. Reward Yourself
When you reach a fitness goal, reward yourself with a massage, an evening out or a new piece of clothing. After all, you worked hard; you deserve it!
24. Don’t Give Up
The greatest goals are achieved one step at a time. Keep persevering one day at a time and you will eventually reach your dreams.
25. It’s All Up to You
You have to make the decision to get fit. When you commit to it, you’re making a contract with yourself. Be the change you want to see in your life!