Fall Fitness Hacks
Sep 6, 2021
Change is in the crisp, fall air! For most of us, the start of the fall season represents a new beginning; a fresh chance to refocus on the things that may have taken a back-seat during the busy summer months. Whether it’s cooler weather, that back-to-school feeling, or the extra caffeine from all those pumpkin-spice lattes, something seems to give us an extra burst of motivation and a desire to accomplish our goals in the fall. So, why not take advantage of the renewed motivation and recommit to one of the most common casualties of the summer season - your fitness routine.
While having the desire to reconnect to a fitness routine is a great start, it can be challenging to get back on track and to stay there. One tip for success is to utilize the SMART goals concept, which is designed to provide a sense of direction, motivation, and clear focus to help you reach your broader goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Setting SMART goals allows you to identify a larger goal, then break it down into smaller, more digestible milestones that are easier to measure to illustrate progress.
For instance, think about the difference between setting a goal to “be more active” versus setting a goal to “walk 4 miles, 3 times a week, for 6 weeks.” The first goal isn’t specific, and without specificity, it’s hard to clearly measure whether you have achieved your goal. Ambiguity in goal-setting makes cutting-corners on the way to achieving milestones less obvious and therefore, easier to embrace.
To better illustrate the SMART concept, let's break down the SMART goal to “walk 4 miles, 3 times a week for 6 weeks” into specific steps designed to gradually achieve desired results.
- Specific - Distance to walk (4 miles). Frequency of walks (3 times per week).
- Measurable - Use a fitness tracker to measure total distance walked and track your progress each week.
- Attainable - Base your fitness goals on your current fitness level. Adjust weekly goals to gradually increase endurance.
- Relevant - Walking 12 miles per week is the first step to building cardiovascular stamina and increasing weekly mileage, which will eventually lead to improved overall health.
- Time-Bound - Assign milestones to be accomplished within specific timeframes. Walk 12 miles in 1 week for 6 weeks.
Creation of SMART goals can aid in tracking achievements such as reaching an ideal speed or completing a certain number of miles in a given amount of time. Setting deliberate milestones helps us to be SMART in how we achieve desired results.
In addition to implementing SMART goals, enlisting the help of a personal trainer can be an incredibly effective way to guarantee success in reaching your fitness goals. Why? Because a personal trainer will strive to understand what you wish to achieve, build a plan specific to your lifestyle and fitness level, and hold you accountable for reaching milestones on your way to meeting larger objectives. Pair your SMART goals and a personal trainer with a few fall tips, and you'll be well on your way to forming routines and building habits that will keep you moving toward a healthier you! Find a personal trainer near you.
Fall weather, which is not too hot and not too cold, provides comfortable temperatures for exercising outdoors. Walk, run, hike, practice yoga or tai chi, but make sure your weekly goals provide the opportunity to get outdoors. It’s good for your body and for your mind!
Explore quick cardio
If game days and getaways seem to fill up your fall schedule, look for flexible fitness options that can be squeezed in when you only have 15 or 20 minutes to spare. Quick cardio, HIIT routines, and brisk walks are great ways to get your heart pumping during those overly packed days. Ask your personal trainer for suggestions on how to optimize these quicker workouts so you stay on track to meet your weekly fitness goals.
Enjoy the harvest
Fall is harvest season which means it’s a great time to eat healthy, fresh foods. Kale, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, and pumpkins are deliciously-in-season during the fall months. Try wholesome new recipes featuring these seasonal faves – they’re a great way to fuel your workouts and vary your nutritional intake!
Want more ideas like these? Check our blog for more fitness and wellness tips or call the Fitness Together® studio near you!