The nights are closing in, and the temperature is dropping. While cozy socks, warm coats, and hot chocolate season might be the dream for some people, it does make it tricky to motivate yourself to get up and work out.
It’s a little tougher when the weather isn’t sunny and glorious, isn’t it?
Did you know? Only 9% of Americans have stuck to their New Year’s Resolutions by this point in the year.
Do you remember what yours was?
If it was to get fit, lose weight, and feel good about yourself, continuing to move even when the weather isn’t ideal is necessary.
But how do you keep the motivation high even when the weather isn’t making it as enticing to get outside?
We’re sharing our top tips to get and stay motivated through fall (and winter) so that you reach your weight loss goals and keep your fitness routine regular.
Why it’s important to keep exercising through Fall and Winter
When the sun starts to set that little bit earlier, it’s dark by the time you start the school run, and the fall weather is kicking in—switching off the fitness goals and winding down for the year seems all too easy.
You still have three months of the year to go—that’s still a quarter of the year. Yes, that’s plenty of time to make a difference to your health and fitness OR plenty of time to completely reverse all the hard work you’ve put in over the rest of the year.
And you definitely don’t want to do that…
Think about how you would feel if you get to December and have completely fallen off the wagon, letting your health and fitness fall to the wayside in the process.
If you know that will make you feel disappointed in yourself, then now’s the time to kick the effort up a notch and make sure that you’re happy with where you are when the holiday season comes around.
Plus, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to form new healthy habits. You can start now and ensure you hit the ground running (pun intended).
1. Set yourself some goals
What do you want to achieve this fall season and beyond?
Setting some strong goals will help motivate you to stick to your exercise routine, even if you don’t feel like it.
It’s a bit vague to say ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’. But what does that really mean—and how will you know if you achieve it?
Now’s the time to get specific if you haven’t already.
Set yourself SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) so that you know exactly what you want to achieve.
This might be something like: “I want to lose one stone by the Holiday season.”
This is an achievable and sustainable goal (as well as safe, as it’s around 1 to 2lbs per week). Plus, it gives you a time-specific goal to work towards.
Once you know what your main goal is, you can start to work backwards and split this into specific mini weekly goals.
For example, to reach this goal, you commit to exercising three times a week while adding more protein and vegetables to your diet.
2. Get outdoors when you can
No! The weather might not be amazing in the cooler months (depending on where you live), but that doesn’t mean you have to stay bundled up indoors.
Planning to get outside when you can will keep you motivated and give you a little more opportunity to top up your Vitamin D levels.
This doesn’t always have to mean that you run a 10k. It might be as simple as walking to your local coffee shop for your pumpkin spice lattes, going apple picking or wandering around the farmers market on the weekend. Or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can explore a new hiking trail or join an outdoor group exercise class for a change of scenery.
FYI: Exercise doesn’t have to be brutal. It can involve a new or fun activity—anything that gets you moving and helps you burn calories.
You’ll get to exercise, with the added health benefits of some outdoor time. Win-win.
3. Work out first thing in the morning
There is an argument for working out later in the day. But as the nights get dark and the weather gets colder, it’s going to get easier to abandon a workout in favour of the couch.
So, we recommend getting up a little early and fitting in some exercise before the day begins. Yes! That early alarm clock might be a killer, but then it will be out of the way.
Again, this doesn’t have to mean that you hit the gym. It might mean doing some yoga before the kids wake up, or walking to work instead of taking the car—whatever works for your fitness level.
Working out first thing in the morning can get your exercise out of the way and make sure it gets done.
4. Find a workout buddy
Working out alone has its benefits, but there’s nothing quite like someone to keep you accountable for your goals.
It’s much harder to skip out on a workout if you’ve made a commitment to meet someone and do it with them.
In fact, research shows that working out with a friend (even virtually) pushes people to keep motivated longer than they would if they were working out alone.
Find someone else (or a group of people) with similar goals, and your goals will become a team effort.
If you’re struggling to find someone, then a personal trainer might be a good option, as they can help you set goals and stay accountable.
5. Get the right workout clothes for Fall
Shorts and a crop top might be great in the sweaty summer, but if it’s raining or cold outside, you’re not going to feel like working out if you don’t have cosy clothes.
Get yourself some leggings, long-sleeved workout clothes, and a jacket so that you are prepared for exercise no matter the weather.
Plus, there’s nothing quite as motivating as putting on some new workout clothes or shows—we promise you’ll suddenly run faster or lift heavier (disclaimer: this is not scientifically proven).
6. Take part in a Fall Challenge
If you’re a competitive person, then joining a challenge might be just the motivation you need to keep you going through colder weather.
Try and find a #fallfitnesschallenge, or if you can’t, then set up a group chat with some friends and challenge each other. Whether it’s to hit the gym a few times a week or 10,000 steps a day—it’s up to you.
You can make the challenge virtual or meet in person to keep each other accountable.
7. Change up your workouts
You might not feel like the same kind of workouts as you do in the summer, so maybe it’s time to find something that works for you as we hit the fall season.
It might be time to slow things down and try out yoga or walking. Alternatively, if that’s your usual, then HIIT or weights might help energise you throughout the cooler temperatures.
8. Get a Gym Membership
If you’re not already a gym member, now might be the time to join. During spring and summer, you might be motivated to get outside more, but this might not be possible if you live somewhere the weather isn’t great.
You can still exercise outdoors if you can and feel like it, but joining a gym will stop you from skipping sessions if the weather isn’t playing ball.
If you want that extra boost of accountability, then hiring a personal trainer could be a good option.
Not only will they ensure that you turn up for your workout, but they can also create a plan tailored to you and your goals—helping you hit them sooner.
8. Create a Fall Playlist
There’s no doubt about it: Music is a great way to keep you motivated.
So, why not create a playlist full of your favourite fall hits to keep you energised, engaged and motivated?
Songs with uplifting beats that will help you push through even when you don’t feel like it.
BONUS: We know how busy you are (and how many plates you have to juggle). So, here’s our official PhenQ Fall Workout Mix for your listening pleasure. Simply download and get moving.
9. Be realistic
You might not be as motivated to work as you were during the summer months—and that’s okay.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. A healthy lifestyle isn’t an all-or-nothing approach, and it’s about doing what you can, when you can, consistently.
That means that even if you aren’t giving it 100% during the colder months, it’s okay —you just need to keep going towards your goals.
Ready for some Fall fitness hacks?
Summer isn’t the only time for fitness…
Fall and winter make up half the year, so you’ve got to find ways to stay motivated that work for you or else you won’t meet your fitness goals.
For exercise and diet to become sustainable, it needs to become part of the every day, so it’s about finding what works for you—and weaving it into your lifestyle choices.
These hacks can help you keep motivated even in the colder months when you don’t feel like it. Try one, try them all. And you’ll stay fit as a fiddle throughout the Fall.