11 Workout Motivation Tips for Fall
Summer. Is it really over already? [honestly don’t know - leaves are saying fall but sleeves are saying summer so I’m just over here confused]
Yes, despite oppressive heat and humidity it seems that summer is still when it’s easiest for most people to get into a workout routine. The days seem to stretch on forever, which mean late night or early morning workouts don’t seem that bad. Less layers and beach vacations give us an extra boost of motivation.
But then fall sets in. While we’re busy getting excited about pumpkin spice paper towels and sweaters the days start to get shorter. Temps start to get colder. And the idea of snuggling down on your coach and flipping on some Netflix after dinner starts to sound WAY more appealing than going outside and getting sweaty.
I get it. I’ve been there. I used to be what you could call a workout-hibernator. April-September? Oh yes sign me up for all the workouts. October-March? No thanks I think I have to wash my hair that day.
Eventually I got sick of starting over year after year. I learned to maintain some semblance of consistency and stayed motivated to workout all year round.
Here are some of the things I did to get there.
Be flexible and open to change.
This is a hard one so I put it first. You’ll need some time to process it. One of the things that makes working out easier, is having a routine. I get it. You have a schedule and it works, for your job, your family, and your hair washing schedule. [I cannot be the only one who really does plan my hair washing around my workouts right?]
And now I’m asking you to break that routine. I might as well be asking you to fail — right? Wrong. Think of it as graduating to the next level. You’ve been so consistent all summer, and now it’s time to up the challenge! What are you going to do to continue that consistency?
It may take a change in schedule, or type of workout. You may have to get outside your comfort zone — but it’s ok because I know you can do it. I know you can take at least one of these tips and start adding it into your life right away.
Consider a lunch time workout.
Not only is this going to ensure you have max daylight if you are an outdoor exerciser but lunchtime workouts have a lot of benefits.
Mental break from your work
Increased mid-day energy from getting your heart pumping
Increased vitamin D exposure
This is certainly not my ideal time of day to get in a sweat break, but in the fall and winter it is a necessary evil. I know it won’t be forever, and it will allow me to stay on track with my goals so I’m not kicking myself come spring time.
Join a gym.
One of the easiest way to solve the short days / cold temps dilemma is to head indoors. When picking a location it’s important to think about your schedule and location. Try to avoid a gym across town from your office if, as above you’ve decided to commit to a lunch time workout. Likewise it’s probably not the best idea to sign up for a gym membership in your office complex if your only free day to sweat is on the weekend. Unless you like going into the office on the weekends.
Try a new studio/class.
If you've already committed to the gym membership - check out their class schedule to see if there are any new offerings that could be a change of pace.
Gyms are great but sometimes we need an extra layer of accountability — like an instructor and a group of peers— to get us to follow through. Maybe you’ll discover you actually do like Zumba, or that kickboxing is a kick ass workout. Try not to judge a book before you’ve sweated through it. Get even deeper in the challenge and try one new class once a week or month.
Wondering what studios around you have awesome classes that you would enjoy? Check out my complete list of Fitness Adventures for everything from spin to CrossFit & more. I bet you can take away at least a few ideas that you would want to try.
Grab a friend.
There is no better time to find a workout buddy or an accountability partner. If you are feeling like you just need an extra push to remind you to commit to your workout there’s probably someone out there in the same boat. Put up a post on Facebook asking for virtual workout buddy. Ask coworkers or neighbors. This article has more info on finding an accountability partner that can help motivate you.
Join a club or group.
If like me - running is your jam - joining a running group is an automatic accountability partner. You may meet some new friends, since you already know you have a common interest. You could also join an adult sports league, if they have that in your area or make up your own one doesn’t exist. Face it, a club is just a bunch of workout buddies all together.
Start strength training
Ok so it’s cold outside and dark at night, you’ve joined a gym, take advantage of all that top of the line equipment and get your lift on. New to lifting? This free guide has all the info you will need.
Not only does strength training have SO MANY amazing benefits
Increases lean muscle mass which burns more calories
Improved coordination / balance
Increase bone density
Prevent or reduce risk for injury
Weight lifting can be one of the most efficient workouts. Because it puts more [good] stress on your muscles, you need more rest days between workouts. With only a few pieces of equipment you could even do this at home in your living room. No commute to the gym = time savings. Not to mention it feels pretty boss to get stronger.
Look at your goals – are they realistic?
Fall should be a wind down time, when we prep for winter, and get more sleep and relaxation. Yet instead we gear up full force for back to school and steam roll right on into the holiday season. When things are at the height of stress and chaos our lofty fitness goals are the first thing to do.
So get proactive and make sure your goals are realistic. If you’ve been seeing progress loosing weight, make fall and winter more of a maintenance mode. Runners take time to scale back on your milage or run less days of the week. If you’ve been killing it at the gym six days a week take it down to four [this of course is assuming you have a busy schedule. If you don’t can we trade lives?]
Bottom line - make sure you are being realistic.
Update your workout wardrobe.
I have no shame in in using cute outfits as a motivator, and a change in seasons is a perfect excuse for a shopping spree. When I have clothes I like, and that fit me well I am excited to put them in my gym bag and put them on after work. If you feel good getting into your workout clothes you’re more likely to want to get to the gym and workout. So go on and get yourself some new leggings, or that new top you’ve been eyeing up. Or both! Go through your current closet and toss or donate and clothes that don’t fit right - you aren’t going to wear them and they are taking up valuable space for the new ones!
Remember your why.
Why are you doing this? Why did you start this goal? I’ll be honest if you embarked on this journey to look good in a swimsuit, it’s a great start but it’s not going to get you through the winter. The minute sweaters start coming down from dusty shelves in the closet you’re going to use them as an excuse to not work as hard.
Think about the goals you’ve set for yourself. Maybe it was run a 5k, loose a few pounds, or go down a dress size. Ok so that’s how it started out, but then you started making it a regular habit. But along the way you found you really loved the way it made you FEEL. After a hard workout you slept better. You moved better. You had more energy during the day
If you dig deep I bet your why goes beyond “just run a 5k” or “just loose a few pounds”. I bet your why sounds like, “I want to feel more comfortable moving my body,” or “I want to FEEL as strong as I know I can be.”
Remember that YOU are one of the best investments you can make.
You are probably reading this thinking all the things I’m asking are difficult and expensive. They are. It’s hard to change, it’s not always cheap to join a gym but YOU are worth it.