Although we still have some time before the clocks need to roll backwards to account for the change in day/night cycles, the weather has already shown signs of easing up ... and so too could your workout and diet routine.
During the summer months, the focus is often looking your best for vacations, pool parties, and the myriad of other activities that present themselves when the sun is shining. Yet, as the leaves begin to fall it can be tough to maintain the same drive to push yourself in the gym.
A change in weather doesn’t mean that you have to have a change in your intentions, though. In fact, there are three unbeatable strategies that can keep you pushing through the fall and into the holiday season.
Training for Specificity
Vanity is often looked down upon as a training goal when compared to those that involve health and human performance. However, anything that gets you into your athletic wear and onward towards a great work out is a valuable goal. Now, as the weather forces layers over your skin it may be harder to be motivated by your appearance.
Enter those other goals.
Human performance is always a viable training goal. Whether it is running a race, lifting heavier weights, or trying to make a bigger impact in your social league sports – any goal that keeps you moving is awesome!
It’s ok if you don’t already have a specific goal in mind as a quick google search can reveal hundreds of competitions and events that you can train towards. No one event is better than the other. All that matters is that you train.
Maintain your Nutrition, but Evolve your Methods
Summer provides the platform for fresh fish, steaks off the grill, and vegetables picked that morning. The in-season nature of the summer can often make eating healthier a bit easier than during the colder, hibernation months.
You can still enjoy your steak, vegetables, and other dining experiences when the weather changes, however. You simply have to adapt your preparation methods. Instead of grilling your salmon on a wooden plank – you may try to bake it in the oven surrounded by vegetables. A steak that is normally grilled over an open flame can be enjoyed just as well when it is seared on a skillet and baked at a high temperature for about ten minutes.
Adaptation is the key to a successful and low-stress life. You must move with the wind at times, and not against it. Thus, manipulating your cooking methods and trying new flavors can be great learning experiences that also help keep you on track.
Commit to your time, Ignore the light
One of the toughest challenges to fall is finding the motivation to go to the gym when it always so dark out. Whether you are an early riser or a post-work exerciser – the key is to stick to your time and don’t let the daylight, or lack thereof, effect you.
For the morning crowd, starting your day with a water with a bit of lemon juice can help flush the digestion tract and initiate the metabolism. Doing so, on top of your healthy breakfast and typical caffeine indulgence, should be enough to overpower the darkness before the sun.
For the evening crowd, the key is to not go home and see your couch. Make the gym a part of your “outside-of-home” day. During the early evening your body will want to wind down, especially if it sees your coach and television. Thus, hit the gym en route to home and watch as you never choose to skip a workout again.
The fall is a beautiful season. As the leaves change it provides an opportunity for redirection. What has been done is done, and what lies ahead is a series of months, devoid of a story, staring at you like a blank sheet of paper in a leather bound book.
What story are you going to write?
Kevin Mullins can be found at the Equinox Sports Club DC where he is a Tier 3+ coach and group exercise instructor of his own class - Superhuman. He is a two time Men's Health Next Top trainer Finalist, one of Women's Health Magazines 10 sexiest trainers in America, and has been featured by the Washington Post and WUSA9 in the local market. You can read more about him and his methods on his website.