As we break out our bulky sweaters and stylish boots, we tend to pay less attention to our covered-up bodies. Add in the shortened hours of daylight and the cooler weather, and it's hard to care very much about how we look in a bikini while playing volleyball on the beach. Well, we believe Fall, a season of renewal, is the perfect time to reprogram that thinking. It's a time for creating good fitness habits before the holidays and the upcoming winter months arrive.
The most important thing to remember about making the transition from outdoor to indoor workouts is finding your motivation. It's important to discover what your individual goals are—whether it's losing weight or toning and strengthening or preparing for a race or event or an upcoming vacation. You have to choose an activity you'll enjoy doing and will be likely to keep up. The three Cs—commitment, convenience and consistency are necessary to be successful. You have to put exercise on the calendar the way you would a dentist appointment; otherwise, later turns into never.
It takes about four weeks for the body to adapt to a lifestyle change, so be patient. That's why people who give up on their fitness programs tend to do so within the first 30 days. See if any of our suggestions intrigue you. We promise if you stick with them for a month, behavior patterns will have adapted, and it will be much easier to stay the course until it's time to put that bathing suit back on!
One way to combat the cold weather workout blues is to exercise at home. Get the right equipment. A set of five-pound dumbbells, a four-to-six-pound medicine ball, ankle resistance bands and an aerobic stair step can be obtained with minimal cost and hassle. Consider investing in a set of workout DVDs...or playing Wii fitness games to perfect your virtual ski jump or hula hooping form. Try to find a friend to join you. (Guilt is an amazing motivator!) Be an active TV watcher. While you watch the new fall lineup, walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do tricep dips off the couch, or lift weights. During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. In one hour, you probably have 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption to get the job done.
Join a fitness class. Check out the local gym, YMCA, or community center. Think outside the box and try something new...yoga, kick-boxing, Pilates, tap dancing, indoor rock climbing, ballet, spinning, boot camp, swimming, martial arts, Hip Hop, Zumba...the options go on. Then reward your commitment by trading in your old T-shirt and worn out sweats with some cute new workout clothes.
If you didn't change what you ate, yet burned an additional 200 calories a day, you would lose about 20 pounds in one year. That means you can lose five pounds this winter instead of gaining weight. And that assures you will enter spring fitter than you left summer!