Labor Day marks the ostensible end of summer, even if the warm weather lasts another few weeks and the official season start of fall is September 22nd. Vacation, wedding, and beach season come to an end as the leaves begin to change colors.
So how do you maintain the active lifestyle of summer when life gets busier and the weather gets colder? Here are five tips:
Write out your goals: Weight and body fat percentages have a way of slowly piling up, never more so than during the holiday season. The best way to avoid this snowball effect is to keep the habit from extending beyond solitary cheat meals. Whether that means scheduling meals or crafting a workout plan, establish some realistic benchmarks and track yourself.
“Specific goals will keep you accountable,” CEO and founder of No Gym Required Jennifer Cohen wrote for Entrepreneur. “‘Lose weight’ is too vague. ‘Lose 15 pounds in six months’ gives you much more direction and allows you to have a way to measure your progress.”
Exercise outdoors: While this may seem counterintuitive given the pleasant, warm days of summer, the shorter, colder days of winter make outdoor time a greater challenge, thus making your body burn more calories. Plus, the wind has a way of perking the body up, like a splash of cold water on your face in the morning. Outdoor time and fresh air are essential, and some extra time in the sun is worth braving the lower temperatures.
Remember the reward: Since you won’t be frequenting the beach, the aesthetic motivation descends with the falling leaves of autumn. More important than looking good, however, is staying healthy and happy. Energy and mood stability are important year-round and exercising daily will sustain both at optimal levels. Exercise improves your mood through boosting the endorphins in your brain, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Watch more sports: At the very least, there’s a guilt factor here. Watching elite athletes perform remarkable athletic feats from the comfort of a sofa helps foster motivation. Baseball is summer’s sport and doesn’t demand the same type of stamina displayed in physical, cardio-intensive sports like Football, Hockey and Basketball, all which begin in the fall. October features all four major team sports on national television.
Use the buddy system: Whether it’s persuading your significant other or roommate to join you at the gym or go on a casual run around the neighborhood, adding a workout partner offers numerous benefits. Socializing brings a pleasant distraction from the strain of the exercise, helping the time fly by. Safety is optimal with a built-in spotter or runner, and healthy competition brings out the best in us all.