When the weather outside gets frightful: Seven tips to keep fitness and nutrition as top priorities this season.
Today you can find me guest blogging over at "You've Been Running Through My Mind All Day." I always adore switching things up from time to time and bringing my fitness and nutrition knowledge to the page. Erin is new to the blogging world and I have had both the pleasure of working with her and knowing her in real life. Check out her site and check out the article below. I think you will fall in love with this newly wed's fierce passion for running and fun personality in no time.
I am a firm believer that fall derives its name not only from the leaves that “fall” from the trees but also from how quickly this season can cause us to “fall” into a fitness slump.
The degrees find lower digits, we find chunkier sweaters and our stomachs often find an overhaul in holiday foods and seasonal Starbucks’ brews.
But donning a few extra layers of clothing these days does not give us an excuse to add a layer of laziness as well. Here are seven helpful tips to keep us motivated in walking away from the Halloween candy and walking towards the gym this autumn.
1) Goals=Good (with or without a bikini in mind): It is a dozen times easier to set goals and stick to them when we know the summer months are sashaying towards us with bikinis trailing close behind, but what about the winter months? Goals are still important to set even if the season requires significantly more clothing. Set a realistic goal for yourself and make your deadline the New Year, that way, when the time to make resolutions rolls around you will already be on the right track.
2) Schedule sweets into your planner: Ok, let’s be real. It is absolutely impossible to resist each and every treat that the holiday season ahead has to offer. Pumpkin pies. Apple crisp. Christmas cookies. Our stomachs (and our relatives) won’t let us say no. It is important to allow room for indulging within our health and fitness goals. Adopt the mindset that you should have a slice of pie or a cup of hot chocolate. Our bodies thank us when we allow for indulgences without the guilt attached; we just need to be careful of overdoing it.
Treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte after a successful week of working out or allow yourself a serving of pudding when you stick to your diet regimen for the week. Your results and hard work won’t disappear after one piece of cake, trust me.
3) Keep motivation at every corner: It may sound ridiculous but I often cut out pictures from fitness magazines and hang them in places where I will see them throughout my day. Having a healthy and realistic goal that you can physically see will make you work harder towards achieving that goal. Read success stories and inspirational blogs that will keep you motivated to reach your own goals. Ask friends to cheer you on with your workout goals but also lend yourself to be a motivation to someone else. You will quickly find that wrapping yourself in motivation will feel even warmer than a blanket by the fire. When you wrap yourself with positive motivation- you feel great on the inside and look even better on the outside.
4) Made with love: A good friend of mine actually turned me onto this technique and it has really helped me make healthier and more conscious eating decisions during the holiday season. Ask yourself, was this food made with love? If the answer is yes, then have a bit. Don’t skip out on your aunt’s famous apple pie or your mother’s ravioli (don’t overdo it either though). But think about the love when you are placed in front of a sleeve of Oreo cookies or a line of processed desserts. My rule of thumb: If the love is not there, neither are my taste buds.
5) Make yourself a morning person: I am sure some people felt a tinge of pain from just glancing at this header but I speak the truth on this one. I used to be a person who gave her mornings to coffee and the New York Times only. However, getting into the gym in the A.M. has changed my life completely. Sure, it is insanely hard to lure yourself out of bed when the sun hasn’t even woken up yet but once you finish then you are done for the day. Enter feelings of accomplishment and pats on the back. As it begins to get darker earlier, the motivation to hit the treadmill after work will start to slide. Avoid the issue altogether by setting your alarm an hour earlier and signing on to greet the sun when she wakes.
6) Allow fitness to save you from being a Scrooge: You really need to ask yourself the question, why do I work out? Not only is it good for you and your body, but it also a definite mood booster. I cannot stress how important this is from October onward. With less sunshine, it is no surprise that people often feel lonelier and more depressed during the winter months. Beat the blues by breaking a sweat. Instead of pressing the snooze button on the alarm a few more times, imagine how much more energy you will get from the day when you lift some weights or hit the bike before work.
7) The season is changing, why not your work out?: Let’s face it, the elliptical gets old after a few months. Why not switch up your workout routine? Try out that dance class you have been eyeing, sign up for a session of hot yoga class. Introducing new forms of fitness into your routine will keep you motivated and passionate about your fitness goals. Google is a definite God send for finding fitness classes in the area that will burn up those calories and keep you from burning out this season.
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