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Avoiding Fall Workout Fails

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Avoiding Fall Workout Fails

The period of time following the New Year is a notorious hot spot where resolutions of health and fitness can quickly fly off the rails. But the truth is, losing motivation and letting the hustle and bustle of life get between you and your fitness routine can happen any time. With the drop in temperature and pile-on of plans and commitments brought on by the holidays, fall is a particular danger zone. But being aware of the causes and misconceptions of fall workout fails—and taking a few simple precautions to sidestep the pitfalls—can keep you on track with your workout goals throughout the winter when you need it most.

“I’m just not in a groove”

During the spring and even summer months it can be easy to set a workout schedule and get in a good rhythm with in-club workouts, classes and bag sessions. But fall is a time of change and upheaval. School starts for your kids—or for you—and the weather is suddenly colder and wetter. And before we know it, the holidays are upon us. Cut yourself some slack and focus on re-motivating yourself. Try to leave work a little early to get to the club before dark. Don’t wait until January to set a goal to reach by the end of the year and figure out the workout steps needed for success. Or consider working out with an instructor to re-energize your club experience.

“I don’t have the time”

Recent studies show that 83 percent of Americans use their smartphones daily and each day clock up to 5.4 hours of personal use (source: ZD Net), not including work time. It’s easy to say, but consider that when you think you don’t have the time for working out. By being a little more disciplined with your schedule, we can all carve out time for what we love to do. Instead of coming in from work, grabbing your phone and hitting the couch for some downtime, treat phone time as a reward after you’ve worked out, had dinner and are ready to unwind a little. Be careful not to make phone time run into bed time. Blue light from screens will keep you awake and your mind racing long after you hit the pillow. Look for other ways to find time in your day too to adjust your schedule and find more workout time. Take 30 minutes instead of an hour for lunch and fit in a brisk walk in the neighborhood or around your workplace. Or make a major schedule change: going to bed just one hour earlier means you can start your day earlier, do a morning workout, and get the blood pumping for the rest of your day.

"Working out isn’t fun anymore"

Whether it’s burnout from too much exercise, the aftermath of a sprain or other injury, or just the feeling that you’ve been there and done that, a lot of fall workout fails come from the simple feeling that the fun is done. When you feel like this, it’s definitely time for a shakeup, which doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Move to a new spot in every studio class. Even if you love kickboxing more than anything, build in cross-training activities, classes and workout sessions to keep things diverse and interesting. A good spin or stationary bike class will build lower body strength essential for kicking and burn a ton of calories in the process. Yoga, barre or Pilates classes can be a welcome change of pace to build incredible flexibility, core strength, and lean, toned muscle, making you stronger and more efficient in your other classes.

Remember: Working out is as much a mental commitment as a physical one. Stay strong mentally by taking charge of your schedule, committing time each day to exercise and giving yourself new goals and activities to keep things interesting well beyond the drop of the last leaf.

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