Autumn Time Change: Keep Your Fitness Rhythm

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Autumn is the time to change our clocks and adjust to shorter days. During this transition from summer to fall, our exercise routine can get disrupted.  Determine how to align your healthy fitness habits into the months of fall.  The following tips can help.

Exercise When it’s Light

Our natural circadian rhythms can readjust to match the time change.  Switch your exercise time from light summer evenings to autumn mornings.  You’ll be more energized for the day and will feel accomplished. 

Modify Obstacles

Identify obstacles that keep you from following through with your exercise goals.   See how you can resolve, rearrange, or redesign obstacles that “get in your way” of self-care.  If you find this too difficult to accomplish, contact an RDN who specializes in lifestyle and behavior modification to help you embrace healthier habits. 

Activity of Daily Living

Just like with other routine daily activitiesdesignate time every day to being active.  Remove distractions (computer, phone…) and devote a block of time to taking care of yourself and your body.

Accountability Counts

To help you succeed, you may benefit by building in systems of accountability.  Create and sign a contract vowing to keep your commitment to yourself.  Keep it posted in an obvious place.   Read it often to remind yourself of your realistic goals and what matters most, your health.  Enlist support from close friends, family, or a professional.

Socialize Through Outdoor Activities

Encourage friends and family to become activity partners; they will probably appreciate the suggestion.  Rather than sitting and dining, consider converting social gatherings to walks, hikes, bike rides, etc.   If they can’t show up, do the exercise on your own.

Exercise When Your Kids Exercise

Parents tend to sit on the sidelines while their children practice with their sports teams.  Make this your exercise time too.  Speed walk around the field, campus, or neighborhood while your children are busy with their own activity.  On days when they’re not with their teams, arrange to exercise with them: walk, hike, bike, play Frisbee, soccer, basketball … any activity will do.

Tune Your Body During TV Time

As darkness occurs earlier, we tend to spend more time doing sedentary things such as watching more TV.  Tune your body during TV time.  Depending on your exercise potential, do standing lunges, lift hand weights or use household items such as filled bottles, cans, or heavy candlesticks as makeshift weights. Jog in place, do jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, stretches, use a treadmill, stationery bike or other cardio equipment.

Routine Tasks Get Fit

Incorporate household tasks into your workout routine: garden, car wash, dog-walk, etc.

Community Recreation Center Classes

Fitness, yoga and stretch classes held at community recreation centers are cost effective and geared for all levels of competency.

Don’t Let the Rain Stop You

Regardless of the weather outside, your body needs regular reminders of exercise.  When it’s wet outdoors, keep fit by using indoor exercise options: home, gym, recreation center, mall, etc.

50:50 Lunch Break

Spend half of your lunchtime fueling your body with nutritious food. Devote the other half to getting fit, and burning calories. 

Be Weather Prepared

Dress in layers of clothes that keep you warm, dry and shielded from cold wind.  Keep an extra set of exercise shoes and attire in your car.  Use reflective, bright clothing, especially if you find yourself exercising at daybreak, dusk or after dark.