How to Transition Your Summer Workout Regimen for Fall

We’ve been lucky with the ‘Indian Summer’ we’ve been having, but we all know fall chills are just days away. You can already smell the difference in the air!


As the rainy, cold fall and winter weather arrives, it’s time to transition your summer workout regimen for fall so that you can stay on track with your fitness goals even if the weather isn’t beckoning. Here are some helpful tips to keep you on course:


running-573762_960_720Do something active, TODAY. After the beautiful summer weather goes away, it can be more and more difficult to drag yourself out of bed or off the couch to exercise. If you wait for the weather, you probably won’t work out more than a handful of times between now and April of next year. While scraping up some motivation can be tough, make a point each day to do something active. Even if it’s not a complete workout with cardio and strength training, small daily efforts make a difference!


Adjust your goals. During the summertime, your goal may have been to maintain a slim tummy to look good in your swimsuit. As you transition your summer workout regimen for fall, consider switching your focus to strength training in order to build muscles and tone. Over time, increase weight resistance while decreasing repetitions, and then increase repetitions again to build stronger muscles in target groups. Pair that with plenty of core exercise, so that when you break out your suit next summer, you’ll love the results.


Switch it up. Sometimes, doing something different is a great motivator. Make the change from outdoor-heavy exercise to things that you enjoy and can do inside – racquetball, table tennis, swimming, hula hooping… whatever gets you excited to be active. Taking advantage of the seasonal transition to switch up your workout routine is perfect timing for a twist on your workout routine. And when winter arrives, be sure to take advantage of fun winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.


Make yourself accountable. Accountability may be the single most important factor to sticking with your workout regimen – during transition times or not! What kind of accountability do you need to reduce the temptation to procrastinate or skip workouts? For some, it’s a friend or exercise buddy, for others, it’s a regular class or bootcamp series, and others only need to make a promise to themselves. Join a team, club (lots of running clubs start in the fall), or bootcamp to kickstart your workout regimen and get some fitness accountability. Whatever your needs are, find a way to support yourself in staying on track during this transition from summer to fall.


Plan ahead and track your progress. As the days become shorter, it will become harder to get up early or set aside time after work to exercise in the dark. By scheduling your workout the day before (or planning ahead for the whole week), you can give yourself that extra bit of accountability to make it happen. Keep yourself engaged by tracking your progress, because when you can see the correlation between the improvements during workouts with the effect on the bathroom mirror and scale readings, you’ll be motivated to keep it up.


Change your gear. As it gets dark earlier and the sun rises later, it’s important to add layers to your workout apparel to avoid injuring your muscles. You can shed them as you warm up, but these layers accomplish two very important things: retaining moisture and regulating body temperature. These things are critical to keep you from becoming too dehydrated or straining a tight muscle because you haven’t properly warmed it up. If you are exercising outside in the dark, always wear bright, reflective clothing or accessories to stay safe!


Think about your meals. Support your exercise efforts with yummy and healthy meals! As summer produce starts to disappear, it will become more and more difficult to find fresh fruit and veggies, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with unhealthy choices. Search Pinterest for tasty-looking healthy meals, and add them to a special board that you can peruse when you’re low on inspiration. Take this an extra step by shopping with the meals for the week in mind – it will save you time and keep you from unhealthy snacking if you know you have the makings of a delicious dinner in the fridge! And, make your breakfast before you go to bed each night, since it’s the most important meal of the day and you want to jumpstart your metabolism right.


Drink lots and lots of water. It’s easier to remember to drink water during the summertime, when the hot sun makes you sweat more. But you need to drink lots of water throughout the cold months as well, since dehydration is a sneakier risk. The bite of frosty fall or winter chill makes your body temperature fluctuate, sweat evaporates more quickly, and your body’s thirst response is naturally diminished. This means you may not realize that you are thirsty or dehydrated. To be safe, drink lots of water throughout the day and especially before and after exercising to keep your body hydrated and safe.
Ready? Good luck!