Fitness in the Fall (already?)

The warm autumn sun shining through colorful treetops, with beautiful bright blue sky.

Now that summer is almost behind us it’s time to start packing on the winter weight in preparation for a long cold season and danger of starvation. At least, that’s what my body thinks. Don’t get me wrong, I am very, very upset that August is winding down and kids have actually gone back to school and I am NOT ready for pumpkin-spice-everything by any means, but time waits for no man or woman either. And with fall bustling in, there is a temptation to let up on the healthy eating and exercising routine that is so much more top of mind when there is a very real possibility of having to be in public with no pants on.

So how can you keep your program going as the days shorten up? Here are some ways that fall messes with your mind when it comes to fitness and what you can do about it.

1)     Lack of daylight. You may have already started to notice it’s as not bright out as early if you’re a morning worker-outer. Even confirmed morning people like yours truly finds it harder to get up to go exercise when it’s dark out. Luckily (or unluckily) it also doesn’t stay light as late so it’s a good idea to go to bed a little earlier so you are well rested and able to get up and hit the gym.

2)    Pumpkin-spice lattes. We all have our favorite pumpkin-spice thing, and I think we can also agree it’s gone so far as to be ridiculous (I think they are going to have pumpkin-spice Cheerios this winter) but special fall ‘treats’ can be hard to resist. If you’re a moderation kind of person, give yourself permission to have a little of your very favorite and then walk away. If you’re a sugar addict, just know you probably can’t control and enjoy your pumpkin-spice anything and ask yourself if it’s worth it.

3)    Baking. Guilty, guilty, guilty. I love filling up a chilly house with the smells of comfort food baking in the oven. The good news is there are some very healthy foods you can cook or bake that will smell delicious and not derail your progress. Onion and garlic smell just as good when they’re the base of a healthy chicken vegetable medley as a lasagna, and vanilla and cinnamon even on their own will make your kitchen smell wonderful.

4)    Fall clothes are so forgiving. When shorts and bathing suit season is finally behind you (so to speak) it can be easy to cover up a few slips with stretchy pants and a sweatshirt. Comfort clothes are denial’s best friend. If you really want to stay on track, I would suggest hanging on to the non-stretchy pants so you can continue to gauge your progress. Scales can be deceiving but zippers don’t lie.

5)    Enjoy your relationships. Even though we tend to make gatherings and social occasions all about the food, it’s really not. You can still enjoy your friends and family just as much without the nog and potato chips, even if it is tradition. Try to remember the holidays are about more than just serving and eating food. It’s about being with people you enjoy and just doing life together.

So as sad as I am that fall is around the corner, I am looking forward to pumpkin patches, cold days and red leaves. But I do hope we can have just a few more weeks of warm evenings…

No, go be Limitless!

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