With the colder months creeping up, there’s plenty to celebrate. Unfortunately, there’s plenty do dread, too–especially if you’ve been having a particularly active summer. Because when the mercury drops, often times, motivation goes with it. And if your body’s used to moving around, a sedentary period of hibernation won’t go over well.
Hit the ground running this fall, with fitness goals in mind (and tricks in your pocket), and you, too, can steer clear of the seasonal slide into winter weight.
1.) Stock your shelves with good stuff: One of the biggest pitfalls of autumn and winter is that being trapped inside often leads to endless snacking. Whether you’re working from home with a cold, of you just didn’t feel like walking in the rain, having a limited supply of really good snacks on-hand is a smart way to keep the out-of-control munching to a minimum. Buy nuts and dried fruits in bulk, then wrap them up in single-serving snack baggies. You’re much less likely to bust into another round, knowing you’ve already hit your limit. And of course, keep plenty of fresh fruits and veggies around, too.
2.) Take your workout indoors: Not working out because you can’t make it to the gym is the oldest excuse in the book–and you know it’s just not true. With dark mornings and darker evenings, getting in those odd-hour workouts is just not as likely, unless you plan to do them at home. We’ve featured plenty of effective at-home workouts in the past, and will continue to freshen up the supply as the season goes on. And now, Netflix has more yoga and pilates DVDs than ever–some are even streaming on Instant. Even if you lift, crunch, and jack while you’re watching new seasons of your favorite shows, just make sure you keep moving.
3.) Imbibe responsibly: Warming up with a mulled wine is a wonderful way to enjoy the company of friends and the coming of winter–but make sure you do it in moderation. Liquid libations are a quick way to pile calories on top of meals, especially if you’re drinking mixed drinks with a lot of liqueurs, sugar or juice. Limit yourself to one of whatever you’re having, then switch to seltzer.
4.) Keep walking: If you’re a frequent walker, you probably don’t even consider your on-foot commute as exercise. But your body does–and if you switch to cabs or your own car when the weather turns sour, your metabolism will notice. Even if your regular walk is just too long in soggy weather, make sure you take time to get up and take a brisk walk at lunch time, or on the weekends. Or better yet, treat yourself to a new pair of ultra-functional (and beautiful) rain boots that will get you excited for puddle-stomping.
5.) Drink water: If you were stuck in the pizza oven that was most of America this summer, drinking water was not only a healthy decision–it was a lifeline. Don’t drop the habit just because you’re not sweating it out between your car and office. Staying hydrated is still a good way to fight off the common cold and keep your body firing on all 6 cylinders. Keep a cute, reusable water bottle or cup near your desk, bed, couch or anywhere else you spend a lot of time, and you’ll be more likely to reach for it all day (and all season) long.