10 Tips for Fall Fitness
Fall is a super season for shaping up, experts say.
"You have to start planning exercise, just like you do everything
else," like meetings, dinners, and getting kids to lessons and practice,
she says. "Put in on the calendar, because later always turns into
Convenience means choosing a gym that's close by, or an activity
you can do at home, or a time when you're not likely to be interrupted.
Finally, there's consistency. "I'd rather see a brand-new
client work out for 10 minutes a day rather than one hour every month,"
8. Deal with darkness. The best way to enjoy fall is to
exercise outdoors. But it is getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in
the morning, so be smart and safe.
"Just because it's 6 p.m. (or a.m.) and dark doesn't mean you can't work
out," says Durkin. If walking or running outdoors, he says, "wear a
reflective vest and carry a flashlight."
When cycling, affix a light to your helmet or bike.
If possible, use trails or a local school track to avoid vehicle traffic.
Try to work out at the same time every day, so drivers get used to seeing
9. Dress in layers. When exercising outside, layer your
clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood
gets pumping, you'll feel overdressed.
These days, there's no lack of great weather gear. Freytag and Price
recommend clothing with wicking, often called "DriFit."' This fabric
wicks moisture away from your skin so you're not exercising with wet fabric
hanging on you.
Freytag suggests three layers: "The inner layer should be a
moisture-wicking fabric, so it wicks away sweat and you're not chilled. The
second layer should be a warmth layer, and the third layer should be a
protective layer (like a windbreaker or rain slicker, depending on the
"And don't forget the sunglasses," she warns. UV protection is
important year round. Fall sun can be blinding at certain times of the day.
10. Find your motivation. "People are motivated by
different things," says Durkin. It's important to first discover what your
individual goals are, whether it's losing weight, strengthening and toning, or
preparing for a race or event, says Durkin.
But goals aren't enough to get you there; you have to be motivated by the
day-to-day workouts, he says. So choose something you'll enjoy doing and will
be likely to keep up, whether it's walking or hiking with a friend, working
with a trainer, or taking part in a "boot camp" class.
Creating a challenge for yourself will motivate you, as will encouragement
and accountability, he adds. "You want to know when you're doing a good
job, and when you're not," says Durkin.
Remember too, that anything worth having takes work.
"Tell me something you can do three times a week for 10 minutes and be
great at? It doesn't exist," he says. "If it was easy to be great,
everybody would be great."