Fall is finally and irrefutably here. And while I'm wholly settled into a steady habit of chai lattes and spiced cider, there's one thing my autumnal agenda is bereft of: anything resembling a fitness regimen. In my search for the best way to reinvigorate my workout routine for cooler weather, I've happened across an abundance of activity-focused ideas. Here are five of the best for kick-starting your own schedule in spite of any seasonal opposition.
By identifying and then setting goals about how much activity you have in your life, you can effectively give yourself—and your approach to fitness—a fresh start. Don't feel pressured to make big, sweeping statements about what you want; instead, stick to smaller, more short-term and "SMART" (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals to successfully stay active.
Invest in Gear
Staying active in cooler weather isn't always about refreshing your entire approach to fitness. Sometimes, it's just a matter of making sure you're equipped to continue a routine you already have in place. For example: I learned the hard way that being a runner in Santa Barbara is a very different experience from being a runner in Denver. I now know firsthand the difference moisture-wicking clothes, a warm hat and gloves can make.
Try the Buddy System
Still struggling to commit to outdoor exercise or a regular gym schedule? Try pairing up with a workout buddy. Find someone who is equally interested in developing a consistent approach to staying active and whose work (and workout) schedule jives with your own. The benefits? Potentially increasing your motivation, accountability and support system.
Getting fit with a friend—even just once in awhile—might give you a quick boost to better your workouts.
Sign Up for Something New
There are many reasons to try a new class or workout, but one of the highlights is the potential for it to reinvigorate your activity levels just in time for the change in seasons. If you belong to a gym, check out the calendar and see if anything new catches your eye. And if you don't? Many gyms or independent studios offer discounted rates for new clients (or even free trial periods). You never know which addition to your routine will become your new favorite.
Staying active in cooler weather doesn't have to mean a daily date with an indoor gym. Be creative with your time and look into unique outdoor activities you might already have access to. Fall or winter sports are a great place to start (can we talk about that time I went snowshoeing and was convinced I burned at least three days' worth of calories?). Plus, occasional forays into non-traditional means of activity will keep your routine exciting and maybe even offer a small cold weather dose of vitamin D.
What's your best idea for staying active as the weather cools off?