I look at Fall like I do the New Year; a time to start over, begin again and to make a change. With kid’s going back to school as a Mom I feel like I deserve a fresh start, just like they get starting a new school year. So what better time is it to get back on the wagon and start your resolutions fresh? This is a perfect time to get yourself ready for the hustle and bustle and tons of temptations coming with the holiday seasons. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be as stuffed as the turkey this Thanksgiving.
- Set Goals Set short simple goals, such as exercising for 20 minutes as soon as you wake up each day. It makes achieving your goals realistic and allows you to progress to other longer term goals.
- Find Your Motivation Grab a bulletin board, or go online and use Pinterest, and start a list of your goals, photos during the process, inspirational sayings and quotes, updates with how your doing and even things you want to try (want to do a 5k, or more? Print or Pin them to remind you what you are working towards). Place your motivation somewhere you’ll see them often – like your bathroom mirror or your office at work — so it will remind you how far you’ve gotten, and where you want to go.
- Adopt the 3 “C’s” Commitment, Convenience and Consistency: Work this into your lifestyle to help you with your goals.
- Make It Fun Mix up your workout by trying out new activities like dancing, yoga, a spin class, Pilates, or kickboxing.
- Plan Ahead Plan your workouts for the week ahead of time, and also plan your meals so you’re not in a rush to find something to eat (we all know that leads to unhealthy food choices – like fast food, or something processed)
- Stock Up on Healthy Food Keep your pantry 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 some examples. Buy in bulk so you have enough to make it until your next shopping trip.
- Schedule Your Workouts Put your workout sessions into your calendar like you would a meeting or an important appointment, and don’t allow yourself to skip out! You can also fit other activities in your day by walking, standing, climbing stairs and stretching (especially if you sit all day like I do) whenever you get the chance. You just have to place a HIGH PRIORITY on it like you would going to work, taking a shower, or eating a meal. Just get ‘er done!
- Grab a Friend Get a friend on board who has similar fitness goals to help boost your motivation and keep you accountable. Plus, it can be fun to go on a bike ride, take a walk or run with a friend to keep your mind busy especially when you want to quit.
- Get Outdoors Take a walk outside, take a hike at your local park or ride your bike. A change of scenery can help keep you from being bored with working out, which can lead to not doing anything at all! There are lots of things you can do with friends, family, or even by yourself.
- Change It Up Add variety to your workout. Getting on the treadmill or exercise bike day in and day out can cause boredom and fatigue quickly. Try some weights, take a class, and keep things interesting.
- Moderation Is Key It’s OK to indulge once in a while with food; but be careful. You don’t want to veer too far of course and then binge because you feel guilty (raise your hand if you’ve been there?!) 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).
- No Gym? No Problem Many of the best exercises can be done anywhere! Think of what they torturned us with, I mean, taught us in gym class: jumping jacks, push ups, squats, crunches and mountain climbers, etc. Not to mention the availability of Workout DVD’s and apps for your phone. (as I mentioned in my post Why You Don’t Need a Gym Membership
- Gear Up Nobody feels like conquering the world in some old baggy sweats and a t-shirt with a stain or a hole in it! Grab up some great work-out gear like some new yoga pants, running shorts or shoes. Looking good makes you feel good and will motivate you to exercise more, and harder. I found some great deals on some workout gear, including some really cute plus size work out gear (That is good for the gym or running errands!)
- Stay Hydrated Water is essential for healthy metabolism and for detoxification. Don’t like water alone? Try adding sliced cucumbers, lemons and limes to your water for added flavor and great benefits, like help with indigestion, heartburn, headaches, and preventing water weight gain.
- Get Enough Sleep Lack of sleep is linked to weight gain, low energy and fatigue. Without enough sleep, you’ll have a harder time sticking to your diet and your exercise plan (and you’ll probably be a bit grumpy to top it off, and we don’t want that)
- Track Your Progress Write down your daily workouts (how long you exercised, how much you lifted) so you can track your progress. There are many useful apps so you can keep track online or on your phone.
- Take Time for Recovery Overdoing exercise is counterproductive and can actually damage your muscle tissue and cause injuries. Give yourself recovery time between workouts and be sure to alternate muscle groups or body parts in your exercise sessions.
Most of all? Have fun. Enjoying what you do is what makes you successful and happy. Find a workout or exercise program that you love and give it all you got! You will see results!