Sheesh, Monday already? I swear in the blink of an eye the weekend is over and it’s back to the grind time!
Hopefully your cell phone changed to the correct time, and you didn’t miss anything important on Sunday with the time change. I was at a friend’s house, and was awfully confused when my cell phone time didn’t match her alarm clock time when I woke up. Oops! J
One thing I struggle with this time of year is how early in the afternoon the sun starts to set, and I feel like I go to work in the dark and leave in the dark. It’s such a drastic change from the summer when I’m outside as much as possible, and never leaving the sunshine! I start to feel my motivation dwindle, especially with exercising, and become very much a home-body.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the weather becoming cooler (read: Frigid), less daylight hours and the holidays thrown in the mix. Excuses become easier to make, and the couch becomes a warm and fuzzy black hole after work. As moving and exercise become less and less, and diets remain the same, it’s no wonder weight gain is prevalent during the fall and winter seasons. How do you keep yourself motivated with health and your exercise program?
I have a unique situation that I am a fitness instructor, and “have” to go exercise. I LOVE every second of what I do, and it always amazes me the number of people that thank me for “getting them out of the house”. Group fitness class offers various benefits in addition to the exercise component—you have the accountability of the class that you signed up and more importantly, the social factor. You can sign up with a friend/friends and enjoy the class together, get a few laughs and become healthier. Check out your local gym or hospital (hint, hint) for a class that suites you!
If venturing outside of your home seems like a daunting task, there are various DVD workouts and YouTube workouts that allow you to exercise in the comfort of your home—even in your sweats! I really like any Jillian Michaels DVDs and have found some awesome workouts on YouTube that are short, sweet and to the point. Find what works for you, and take the couple minutes a day to improve your health. Also, don’t forget about outdoor activities/pain-in-the-butt chores that allow you to get some physical activity, such a raking leaves and shoveling snow.
As the daylight hours become more and more limited, I find myself craving more comfort foods, and wanting bigger portions (What is it about mac and cheese and mashed potatoes—I cannot get enough!) It’s SO tempting to come home and grab the first thing I can find in my fridge or cupboard, or even order take-out because I don’t want to cook and would rather just sit and be lazy. It’s important to keep your diet plans on task when the seasons change, and to be conscientious of how much food you’re eating. I personally struggle more with healthy eating in the fall and winter because gone are the days of farmer’s markets and the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden in the summer, and quite honestly, it’s expensive to buy produce in fall and winter! I make sure to plan out my meals weekly and to shop the food items that are in season to keep costs down and my nutrition goals on track. I am in love with Pinterest or Greatist websites that offer tons of recipes that are easy to make, inexpensive and nutritious and can be incorporated into my busy life.
Last but not least, I think it’s also important to have a support system with your health goals—whether that’s your best friend, your significant other, coworker or family member. Having them join you in a fitness class or for a walk, plan out meals together or to be there if you need someone to talk you down from calling Pizza Hut is a great way to keep you on track. I always feel like I don’t want to let my support person down, and it keeps me accountable. It’s also another way I feel in control of my health plan—that I have someone supporting and backing me.
It’s sad, for me, that summer is done, but it’s no excuse to stop my exercise and diet plans. It means I need to get creative to find the motivation and activities that will keep me moving, and a nutrition plan that works for me without making me feel deprived. Use the resources around you and see what you come up with!