It’s autumn which means it’s time to bust out the soup and casserole recipes and pull on your favourite chunky jumper. But it also means adjusting workouts to take into account the changing environment. Investing in new cold weather workout gear is great, but the days are getting shorter too, and that means you might have to change your workout schedule to make sure you’re staying safe AND motivated. Below are a few tips to assist in keeping you moving and motivated:
1. Get up and move - Getting up and moving is the first step to beating the autumn blues and helping you feel your best. Small changes can make all the difference. By changing your physiology, you change your psychology; pull your shoulders up and back, start taking deeper breaths instead of shallow breaths, start walking with a spring in your step and looking up, and get moving on a regular basis. A short workout before breakfast, shower and work can be the answer to getting your workout in that day as well as kick starting the day off. Your mood will improve, studies have demonstrated improvement in mental abilities and attitude, it might take a few mornings to get use to this new regime but you will soon get use to it and feel the benefits.
2. Change is good as a rest - Changing your routine is a great way to keep things interesting and keep your body improving and progressing. Choosing to change your workout instead of blindly following your old workout plan will lead to a more challenging and more effective workout and overcome plateaus that will eventually result in a decline in conditioning if you persist with the same old same old! Most people have a set workout plan and schedule, a regular route they run or same pace they always stick to. Changing your route, pace or distance will provide a new, exciting challenge for you to take on and will ignite your motivation as well as your fitness improvement. Dependent on time and energy levels alternate between long low intensity runs for short high intensity ones, input hill sprint sessions which can take less time but create a much higher intensity workout. If you’re in the gym swap your typical CV and weights machine ‘trundle round the gym’ workout for a HIT workout to get that high intensity workout into your regime for excellent health and fitness benefits.
3. Get the right mindset - Many people tend to make excuses as to why they can’t get fit or stick to their exercise program, especially as the shorter days of autumn are upon us. It’s important when the days are a little shorter to make fitness a priority. Everyone can make time for exercise if they want to, it’s all about understanding the right workouts for your busy schedule and getting into that positive, healthy mindset. Changing how you look at fitness and its importance in your life is crucial to your success.
4. Create and stick to a schedule - By scheduling a workout, you will be able to fit it between other commitments and be less likely to miss the workout, make exercise a ‘must’ and not a ‘should’ in your schedule. Plus, scheduling your workout in advance can make sure you don’t find yourself running in the dark or skipping it altogether.
5. A proper diet boosts energy - Fuelling your fitness is crucial. Look to eat something with carbs and high protein before and after your workout in order to get a burst of energy and help regenerate muscle, consuming milk has been found to be one of the best post workout boosts, forget your expensive sugary, chemical laden energy drinks. Stay away from faddy diets with no respected, independent scientific basis. You can’t beat a good healthy varied diet with a focus on colourful vegetables and fruit coupled with lean cuts of meat interspersed with healthy snacking (don't forget your Omega 3 fat acids). You might feel like indulging in fatty, sugary comfort foods at this time of the year but resist; have rules on what treats you can have, how much, how often and how many!
6. Workout buddies - A new season can be a great time to find a fitness mate and set a new goal weather that is going out running together, taking up a new sport or activity or taking on a Personal Trainer. A good Personal Trainer will be able to take you on by yourself or you and a friend enabling you to split the cost whilst getting excellent training and advice pushing and motivating you to achieve your goals and aspirations faster. Knowing you’ll be meeting a regular group, friend or you have a PT session booked, motivating you to set new goals, will hold you to your workouts.