Don’t FALL Out of Fitness!

Written By: Elsie Velazquez cert. personal trainer with Prescription Fitness (CLE, OH)

Last week was a little sad because summer officially came to an end. I find that working out and finding things to do is so much easier when the sun is shining and the temps are nice enough that you simply throw on a tee and shorts and head out the door for a walk or jog or game of volleyball.  No layering needed!   Well, I quickly turned my frown upside down because with the arrival of fall, I know that there are new goals to set, new challenges to accept, and different activities to embark on.  Fall’s arrival should not be an excuse to fall off the fitness wagon.  There are mistakes that we can all fall prey to and there are also things we can all do to ensure fall is just as productive to our health as summer was!

Below is a list of some of the bad habits to avoid throughout the fall months followed by a few suggestions on how to keep on track and possibly improve your fitness level and overall health.

Bad Habits

  1. Overeating

It is so easy to give in to oversize portions of the high-calorie carbohydrates we crave more come fall – think white bread, pastas, and sugary drinks.  Giving in to these foods in excess will quickly pack the pounds. Stick to complex carbs as much as possible.

  1. Becoming a Couch Potato

If your job requires you to sit for at least 8 hours a day then you should not make it a habit to come home and sit for another 6 or more hours until you go to bed.  You are not getting enough activity if that is the case.  It is a fact that that all of the sitting actually increases your risk of weight gain, heart attack, and stroke.

  1. Avoiding Fruits and Vegetables

I know that it is much more fun to eat veggies and fruit when you pick them from your own garden or visit a local farm market.  However, loading up on veggies and fruits vs. the items listed in #1 above will keep the pounds off and benefit your overall health.

  1. Drinking Excessively

When the weather gets chilly it is easy to seek ways to celebrate indoors. Also, because of holiday parties and celebrations, it is easy to over indulge in alcohol.  Keep your drinking to a minimum and it will be easier to keep your weight and overall health in check.

Suggestions

  1. Set New Fitness Goals

Although summer is known to be peek time for fitness, you can keep the momentum going.  . Fall is a great time to break through a plateau by trying a new fitness class, adding ten minutes to your jog or other cardio workout.  Try a Zumba class or a hot yoga session if that is not what you would normally do.  Change is exciting!

  1. Head Outside

Fall is a great time to explore new parks and trials.  Go for a bike ride, a hike, a long walk.

  1. Get Some Sleep but Not too Much

With the sun rising later and setting earlier, feeling sleepier than usual is normal.  Since it is already tough getting up in the morning, be sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Basically, you’ve got to make the most of your time. Instead of hitting “snooze”, force yourself to get out of bed as soon as you wake up.  If you are not a morning person (I am not), it will be tough, but waking up on time can make a world of difference in not only getting to the gym, but on keeping you punctual throughout the rest of the day.

Happy fall to all!