Summer is almost past! Did you improve your fitness during these warm, sunny months? If not, autumn is a great time for shaping up. Here are five ways you can get fit this fall:
1. Make activity an integral part of your life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park on the far side of the parking lot. Stroll during your lunch break. Try “walking meetings” instead of “sitting meetings”.
2. Take advantage of the weather. Crisp air, fall foliage, pumpkins and apples. Walking, cycling, hiking, kayaking or canoeing — even raking leaves, trimming shrubs and other outdoor work are all great ways to get your heart pumping and burn calories.
3. Remember it takes 30 days. Most people who give up on their fitness programs do so within the first 4 weeks. Lifestyle changes generally take 30 days to become patterns. Stick with your plans for at least a month. Remember it takes commitment (we are all busy) and consistency (even a little exercise regularly is better than a lot only occasionally)
4. Dress in layers. When you exercise outdoors in the cool fall air, choose to layer your clothing. The layer closest to your skin should be moisture-wicking, then a warmth layer, and finally a protective layer like a wind-breaker. You can then remove or add a layer as your comfort level demands.
5. Let God motivate you. Some people are motivated to compete in a race, or simply to look and feel good. We can all remind ourselves that we are running another kind of race that demands not only healthy bodies, but healthy and clear minds as well. The Bible says: “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (I Cor 9:25-27)
Make some kind of physical activity a daily positive choice in your life this fall. You will be a better person physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Fred Hardinge DrPH, RD
Source: PositiveChoices.com. Used with permission.