I’ll admit it. Summer makes me lazy.
Given the choice between running a 5K in the blazing Texas heat and lounging in my air-conditioned living room with a glass of cold, iced tea, I’ll pick the latter 99.9% of the time. Sure, I could exercise indoors, but I’ll have to refer you back to my laziness.
By the time it finally cools off in the evening, I’m more interested in doing a fun family activity such as playing a board game or watching a movie than working out.
When fall rolls around, my tea sipping, movie watching days come to a screeching halt and the harsh reality of my sloth sets in. I feel lethargic and the scale makes me wish I had declined a few of those BBQ invitations.
If you’ve also taken a summer vacation from working out, here are 5 tips to kick start your fall exercise routine.
Start with a visit to your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to handle the additional stress on your body. Once you’ve been medically cleared, ease into the routine slowly. Don’t overdo it or you run the risk of being injured. I always begin my fall workout routine by taking a long walk around the neighborhood in the morning or after dinner. After a week or two of walking, I add light jogging. Over the next few weeks, I alternate running and walking until I can run the whole distance.
Make it Fun
Doing the same exercises every day can get boring. You need to mix things up to keep your routine interesting. If you usually run on a treadmill, take a run through the park instead. If you usually take a spinning class, sign up for yoga a few times a week. Listen to your favorite music or an audio book. Exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery if you use a little creativity.
Find a Friend
Friends make everything better. The social interaction will make you look forward to exercising. Having a friend to hold you accountable also helps you to stay on track.
Track Your Progress
Technology has made it easy for us to track our progress and set personal goals. I use the Nike+ app on my phone and iPod Nano. It tracks my distance and time and allows me to view my progress online (for more tech items see Father’s Day Gifts for Active Dads post). This goal setting exercise will improve your performance and motivate you to be consistent with your routine.
Consistency is the key to a successful exercise routine. Because of our busy schedules, it’s easy to skip a day of exercise. If you miss one day, it can turn into weeks. Add your exercise time to your calendar just as you would any other appointment. Taking care of your health is important and should be a priority.
Avoid making my summer time mistake and exercise throughout the year. The iced tea and recliner will be waiting on you after a good workout.