Autumn is the perfect time to launch into a new workout routine. The temperatures begin to dip, creating cooler mornings and evenings for exercise. Kids go back to school, and the air is filled with a new energy along with crisp breezes and falling leaves. Busy summer days are behind you, and the madness of the holiday season has yet to arrive.
Fall into a new workout routine now, and it will carry you through the winter and into the new year. Get inspired to become the best you possible, and give your body the exercise that it craves. You’ll feel better, look better, and enjoy extra energy as you dive into the colder season. While a healthier lifestyle should be all the incentive that you need to work out, in reality – humans need incentives. Follow these tips to get started on your new fitness routine.
1. First, write down why you want to commit to a new exercise regimen. Make a list of all the reasons, noble or not, that you want to workout:
- I want to play with my kids and not get winded
- I want to honor my body and take care of it
- I want to age more gracefully
- I want to get rid of the jelly roll
- I want to hike mountains
- I want to fit into my jeans
- I want to be more flexible
- I want to look hot in a bikini
- I want to run a half-marathon
- I want to meet health-conscious people at the gym
In the future, when you’re tempted to skip the gym and sit on the couch (and you will be), whip out this personalized list for a dose of inspiration from your #1 cheerleader – yourself.
2. Next, create a plan – and make sure you don’t overdo it and burn out before you begin. Perhaps you want to hit the treadmill three times a week for half an hour, take a long walk in the park every day after work, or sign up for one month of personal training services.
3. Now, think up incentives that work for you, and that don’t involve ice cream or chocolate. Create small incentives for every day that you exercise, and larger incentives for every week that you fulfill all your goals. Put $5 in your travel savings fund, buy a bouquet of flowers for your home, or spend 20 guilt-free minutes watching your guilty pleasure TV show.
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4. Get the right shoes and some cute workout clothes. It’s hard to feel inspired when you look like a bag lady. Flattering exercise gear can be quite inexpensive. Don’t go all out at the beginning; start with a great pair of shoes, a new pink sports bra, or a pair of yoga pants. Your good-looking gear will be one more reason why you want to exercise, and you can make additional wardrobe purchases part of your plan for incentives.
5. Make a playlist and hook up your headphones. Whether you are running, rowing, or boxing, the right music – at the right tempo – can encourage you to work harder. Ask friends for recommendations or look online for workout playlists. You can also purchase apps like PaceDJ that scan your existing library for tunes that have the beats per minute that you need for a maximum heart rate.
6. Hitting the treadmill? Buy a juicy novel, and only let yourself read it while you walk. You’ll catch yourself walking longer than you planned just to make it to the end of a scene.
7. Congratulate yourself and keep going! You’ll no doubt miss a workout here and there, because you’re not a robot – you’re human! Celebrate your victories, even the small ones. Honor each small step that you take to increase your daily activity, and gradually turn up the heat with longer, more intense workouts. Soon your exercise regimen will be as routine as brushing your teeth.
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Image: Hakan Dolstrom