As autumn creeps in, you may find your summer exercise routine in jeopardy thanks to colder, rainier weather. Exercise habits need not fall by the wayside when the weather changes — there are a number of strategies that can help you maintain healthy exercise habits despite seasonal changes.
Work out at home
One strategy recommended by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Pinnacle is to move your exercise indoors when the weather becomes less agreeable. This might necessitate changing the kind of exercise you do, but it might also provide an opportunity to freshen up your routine. If you were jogging outdoors for cardio in the summer, consider changing tactics and trying something new like spinning or yoga.
Make a weekly plan
UPMC Pinnacle recommends creating a weekly exercise plan to help you stick to a schedule and stay on task when it comes to your workouts. Pick a day every week on which you will sit down and write out your exercise schedule for the following seven days, including exact routines and activities and how long you will exercise. By writing everything out, you’ll be better focused and more motivated to get your workouts done.
Meet a friend
Bringing or meeting a friend for a workout is a great way to stay motivated and keep up your good habits, and WebMD points out that meeting a friend is just as effective for staying motivated during the changing seasons. If someone expects you to be at the gym at a certain time or is holding you accountable for your goals and ambitions, it becomes far more difficult to bail out at the last minute.
Be flexible with your exercise
One recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is to abandon the mindset that exercising means lifting weights or running on a treadmill in a gym. You can be active in other ways, including dancing, walking and participating in an indoor sport like volleyball or martial arts. Make a list of activities that appeal to you and pursue those that you enjoy.
NIDDK recommends that you be proactive in overcoming issues that might interrupt your continuing exercise routine. Plan to walk indoors on days when the weather is bad instead of forgoing exercise altogether. If you know ahead of time that you won’t be able to exercise as planned, come up with workaround solutions like waking up earlier to work out or using your lunch break to get in some exercise.
Snack with care
During the winter, UPMC Pinnacle points out that our cravings for carbohydrates and comfort food become stronger. Indulging these cravings and eating high-calorie foods can be counterintuitive to keeping in shape. Instead, UPMC Pinnacle first recommends starting your day with a high-protein breakfast. This helps keep your energy level high throughout the day. If cravings do hit later in the day, UPMC Pinnacle recommends having low-fat, healthy snacks on hand to curb them effectively without hurting your progress.
Nobody is perfect, and life is seldom so agreeable as to accommodate your schedule perfectly. If you fall out of your routine or eat poorly, you don’t have to give up your ambitions for leading a healthier life. Stay diligent about getting back on the horse when you fall off and you’ll find yourself back in the saddle in no time.