"Staying fit in the summer versus the fall can be a difficult transition for some, especially with the shorter days and the cooler temperatures" says conditioning specialist Khanh Vy, from SHAPE fitness in Toronto. "Fall is a season where the leaves are changing colors and the skylines are picture perfect. During the fall, you can still do a majority of the exercises that you do in the summer." Here are some of Vy's suggestions for changing your work out routine:
1. Work out earlier
Changing your work out times can make a difference. Since the days are shorter, taking your jog after work might not a great option. You will just be tempted to snuggle up on the couch and watch the great fall lineup on TV. Try getting out of bed earlier and doing your workout before heading off to work. Not only will your body feel great all day long, but you can take advantage of the gorgeous fall sunrises.
2. Take up some yard work
Those leaves aren't going to rake themselves! It's a great way to get in an upper-body workout, or try to do some weeding and/or gardening work to tone your arms and thighs with some lifting and squats. Who would have thought that gardening could make those legs look so fab!
3. Take a trail or a country road
Instead of doing your usual jog or bike ride on the sidewalk, take your bike out and ride on the country roads or run on a hiking trail or through a park. Doing your activities outside lets you take advantage of the remaining fall beauty and the weather warm enough to work out outside. The cooler air will actually help you feel a bit more exhilarated and while you may be working up a sweat, your cheeks will be rosy and cool. Don't forget to dress in light layers!
4. Take the outdoor fun, indoors
"Near the end of October, temperatures are typically too cool for comfortable outdoor workouts and there should be a switch to indoor training," explains Vy. You can continue your fall workouts by signing up for a dance/aerobic class. Or, to really feel like you are extending the summer fun, try doing fun outdoor activities, indoors. Sign up for a game of indoor soccer, tennis, volleyball, or swimming. The warm sun may not be shining on you, but at least your muscles think you are having a great summer workout!
5. Pair up with a partner
When you're feeling less than motivated after the summer months, it can be hard to get your butt to the gym. Having a workout partner can be what you need to get off the couch and onto that treadmill. Looking for even more of a push? "Hire a personal trainer who will monitor your progress, set new goals for you and make sure you follow through," suggests Vy.
Finally... some tips on making that transition just a bit easier
• Find a gym that is convenient and close
• Integrate interval training into your routine -- running on a treadmill can be boring but changing the grade, speed and intensity levels make it more interesting
• Change up your routine on a regular basis. Mix a little yoga Zen with some intense kickboxing and an eliptical and you will have more success.
• Buy some fun workout gear. Nothing will make a fashionista work out more than a cute, brightly coloured tank and the latest in yoga pants.