How to stay motivated and on-track this Autumn. Enter December in good shape and walk into the new year ready to own it
Summer's over, the hangover still lingers and the days are getting shorter. Great. You may be looking to Christmas now thinking it's not that far away and you're right, but this period is one of the best to focus on your health and fitness and walk into December confident of the fact that your efforts have not been wasted and you can enjoy the downtime before next year.
Set yourself some realistic goals
Now is the time to have a think about where you want to be in 2-3 months time and set some moderate, realistic and measurable targets to hit. It's best to think about these as a physical measurement or specific goal. If your goal is to lose weight - how much? Is this realistic and how will I know? Start will a figure you're confident is achievable, this way you will manage your expectations. The worst thing you can do it aim for something beyond your reach as this will leave you disheartened and a plateau will ensue.
Make time for your fitness
This really is the perfect time for a lot of people to focus on themselves. The weather is cooler and generally dry which makes training outdoors much more enjoyable than in the heat of the Summer and the depths of Winter/Spring and there's usually less things to do and less commitments to make. Set time in the week for exercise, 3-5 days is a good average to do some moving, whether it's a run/walk, strength training, HIIT etc. It's also important to ensure your goals align with your routine and availability. If you're wanting to increase muscle mass for example then following a progressive strength-training programs 3-4x per week will be a better option than random HIIT workouts and running.
Follow a program
Having a program to follow is the best way to stay on track and takes the guesswork out of your training. With a thoughtful plan to work to you are set up for success and theoretically should hit your targets and ultimate goals. You should create a basic outline for your training program with targets to hit each week/month. Remember, things change - time, goals, expectations, so don't worry if you go off-track or aren't meeting your targets - adjust the program and continue at the new pace.
Nutrition & lifestyle tweaks
Now the rosé season is over and before the red wine and chocolate come out of the cupboard this is a good time to tweak your diet and focus on creating some healthy lifestyle changes. Nothing too drastic! Going vegan and meditating 2 hours a day in the space of a week will not have longevity to it but being more mindful of your food choices and taking time to refocus and reset the brain after a heady summer will. Make sure to get acquainted with all the lovely seasonal fruit and veggies this autumn has to offer.