Overcoming Fall Fitness Excuses

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by Jennifer Trimmier

We all were born with an innate ability to come up with creative excuses for not doing things we should. Many of us put this ability to good use when our daily workout time arrives. Here are a few “great” excuses for putting off your fall workout, together with some tips to fight those excuses and get moving:

The Excuse: Due to our busy fall school and extracurricular schedule, I don’t have time to exercise.

Overcome It: Make your workouts more efficient. There’s a myth among many fitness gurus that any workout under an hour isn’t worth it. False! Every moment counts when you’re working toward fitness goals, even 20 minutes. The key here is to make those 20 minutes focused and purposeful. High-intensity interval training and tabata-style workouts (some as short as four minutes!) are a great way to turn a small amount of time into a heart-pumping, calorieburning, fat-blasting exercise session. The key is to get creative. Do body weight exercises on the sidelines during your daughter’s soccer practice. Watching television? Commercial breaks are a great time for jumping jacks, squats and dips. Many gyms and independent personal trainers now offer condensed 30-minute classes and boot camps for busy parents and working professionals.

The Excuse: I always gain a “winter coat” every winter; I’ll take the extra weight off in the spring.

Overcome It: While this excuse may not seem bad, knowing the stress this yo-yo cycle puts on your body may change your mind. Research shows that people gain 1-2 pounds on average over the course of each year. Letting yourself go crazy in the winter could double that average. Postponing your fitness routine will just mean you’ll have more fat to work off in a few short months. Note too that people who continuously lose then gain weight are at a higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

It’s best to maintain your weight with regular workouts and eating healthy at least 80 percent of the time. Allowing yourself some downtime during the cold months isn’t a bad idea, but letting yourself go completely could do more harm than good.

The Excuse: It is too cold to exercise outside.

Overcome It: Choose the right clothing to keep you warm and comfortable in chillier months. There are many options that will allow you to enjoy outdoor exercise when the temperatures start to dip. The key is to plan your clothing appropriately. Layering allows you to adapt to the weather as your body warms up. Always start with a Dri-Fit layer that wicks moisture away from the body. Stack a short-sleeved shirt over a long-sleeved shirt so that you can take the outer layer off if you get too warm. Hint: dress as though it’s 10 degrees warmer outside, to account for the warmth your body will generate as you exercise.

Finally, take advantage of fall! There are so many more outdoor options during the cooler months. Get out and take full advantage! For instance, a long hike at Government Canyon State Natural Area may not have been an option in the soaring temps of summer. During the fall this change of scenery could introduce you to a side of nature, and yourself, you’ve never met, all while giving you a great workout.

Jennifer Trimmier is an ACE-certified personal trainer who owns Strong Body San Antonio Fitness & Wellness Coaching. She provides at-home and on-location personal training and wellness coaching for individuals and groups. To learn more, visit www.StrongBodySA.com or call 210-445-0448.

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