Year after year I continually come to the same conclusion: fall is the best time to ramp up your fitness routine. In fact, it's consistently the time of year that I see the best results with clients. I see them successfully work on strengthening their muscle of discipline because motivation levels are high coming off summer laid-back fun. It's impossible to always expect a high octane fitness regimen. I'd also argue it's unhealthy. But a few times a year (this being one of those times) clients will hear me gently nudge a bit more structure, routine and more of an all out stride of consistency. Here's a few reasons why:
Like I just mentioned, most of us are coming off summer fun, BBQ's, vacations, extra celebrations and an overall sentiment of chilling out. My personal opinion is this laid back summer attitude is worth every ounce of fun and sanity it provides. It gives a bit of a break to the uptight structure we might have been used to during the spring. The timing for buttoning up our splurges and increasing focus is a perfect blend of back to school schedules, the new season approaching with cooler temperatures and a stretch of almost 12 holiday-free weeks. So if you've been tinkering with a new routine, give yourself the next 3 months to sink into feeling great with a bigger dose of nutrition, eating, and exercising discipline. Once the holidays hit you'll be so glad you did!
"I can't manufacture motivation" has been a line of mine for several years. When you feel the nudge of trying harder, increasing focus and just an overall sense of you've had enough laid-back days, go with it!! Motivation isn't dependable but when it hits, don't ignore it. I've found the fall season is a huge motivator for many. I'd encourage you to use this time of the year to jump on that motivation wave. Please realize once the days get shorter and the temperatures lower it's easier for motivation to wane. Knowing that ahead of time will keep you dedicated longer.
3. Ebb and Flow for the Year.
My best tip is give yourself a yearly structure. Find out what works well for your life, sanity, and overall health. I've found this flow seems to naturally work well for most:
-Fall: Ramp up in the fall between holidays focusing on increase structure and discipline.
-Winter: Embrace the mantra "maintaining is gaining" by practicing maintenance during the winter holiday months. Family gatherings and holiday parties are the absolute worst time to deprive yourself because it leaves us feeling bitter.
-Spring: Jump back into structure! Use the warmer, more moderate temperatures to increase your activity by getting outside for more walks. Also feel the extra energy in the air with plants and trees coming back to life. Use that as a motivator to bring yourself more alive with an extra focus on movement.
-Summer: While I won't advocate for indulging daily, I will advise this is the best time to enjoy friends and family. The extra heat this season provides gives more of a lethargic feeling so it's the best time to allow for more grace and less of a rigorous feel throughout these months.
I hope these tips help!! I'm so passionate about fitness being woven through our life, through our seasons, and through our years. I believe when we give ourself permission to ebb and flow, it keeps fitness alive in us for a lifetime of physical and mental health.