“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” ― Chad Sugg
Summer is drawing to a close. All the great outdoor adventures are winding down. Fall is approaching and winter is on its way and with those not too warm seasons on the horizon maybe you are realizing that you won’t get to spend a lot of time outside walking, biking, hiking, swimming, running, boating, etc. How do you encourage yourself to keep going when the shut-in seasons make it a challenge to move? What will you do now to get in the exercise your body will crave once your daylight hours shorten?
Making a seamless transition from outdoor exercise to indoor exercise doesn’t have to be a big deal. If you took part in the Total Refresh from collaborators Alex Brandy, exercise coach/trainer and owner of Ascend Experience, LLC and Kara Patchniuk, owner, and nutrition coach of Nourish & Nosh Nutrition last fall and spring you already know what a fabulous, diverse, and uplifting program they offer to get you moving, grooving and eating healthy. Check out their upcoming fall 2021 Total Refresh at www.ascendexperience.com or https://www.nourishandnoshct.com/6-week-total-refresh. Surprises lurk around every corner.
So, you want to make exercise a big part of your daily routine this fall/winter, but you just don’t know how to motivate yourself to do it. Here are some tips that can absolutely help you seamlessly transition without missing a step:
Use the buddy system: This can’t be mentioned enough. Even though you will work with all the trainers on-line, having a friend with you, whether at your home or theirs, or whether alone in your home knowing your partner is right on-line with you, it is so much more enjoyable to work out with someone you know. Not only can you support one another throughout the Refresh but you can compare notes, meet for walks on the in-between days or times, share recipes from what Kara teaches and feel empowered to help each other achieve those fitness/food goals. It’s all about accountability and action steps.
Set up for success: Where you work out is as important as the exercises themselves. Plan for a place that allows you freedom of expression, space around you for standing and sitting and laying down. Maybe you want to work out outside one day and must work out inside the next. Go for it!! Your comfort and motivation are what will be 90% of your success.
Go shopping: Having the right equipment and clothing makes all the difference. Freedom of movement and less weight on your body allows your muscles the room they need to build and form. And let’s admit it, an appropriate workout outfit in inspiring colors and supportive footwear is so fun. You can purchase clothing from shops like TJ Maxx and Walmart for great low-cost options to higher end gear from Alo, Carbon 38 and Booty by Brabants. Don’t forget you can shop at Ascend Experience, LLC. Not sure about the best gear to wear or own, ask the ladies. They will be happy to recommend the brands they feel best in when working out.
Plan for the end of year activities: Whether it is the end of year holidays or weddings, dances, corporate meetings or school activities, fall/winter workouts are not just for getting to the next summer break. You want to feel your best and look your best all year long so set up some short-term goals that are reachable and doable. Jumping from goal to next goal makes the time go by while you do wonders for your body and mind.
I know it hurts, but it hurts so good: Working on muscles and stretching to flexibility and balance may not feel like happiness right away but the long-term benefits are what you want. The saying, “no pain, no gain”, exists for a reason. The punishment so to speak is not in the workout, it is in the foods that don’t compliment your body and the couch potato you eat up on those shorter daylight days. Beat back the temptation to do nothing. Fact is, exercising creates endorphins and endorphins make you want to keep making goal. Positive images, positive quotes, positive thoughts will truly go a long, long way toward banishing the winter blues. Whether you exercise and eat well or you don’t, the time will go by so why not make the time count and show for something beneficial.
Set up little treats along the way: Cross off the list the plateaus you conquer, like when you can do 20 full sit-ups without stopping or huffing. Treat yourself to new jeans when you lose the first 15 lbs. Having personal, inspiring treats to strive for will be great motivation to stick to the promise you made to feel better. It tells a great story that could inspire someone else, and that item will always remind you of your will power to see your efforts through to success. Whatever would be a treat for you make it happen. Make it personal because although your family might benefit from your fitness, ultimately you win because you will feel so alive and healthy.
Keep track of the exercises you enjoy most, the hot spots that need attention, the progress you are making. Tracking your wins tells you how much your mind, body and spirit are enjoying the hard work. If you don’t feel like you have earned the results, what is the point in all that effort?
Embrace the training for your body type. Let your trainers know your weak spots. They can tailor the exercises toward the diversity of everyone. No muscle group is off limits. And, please, listen to your body every day. You won’t feel 100% at every exercise session. Take a day off and watch the video on another day when you are feeling better. No guilt, no shame. Working against your body can cause great injury and that will derail your goals for a long time.
Don’t limit your exercise to just structured workouts. Join an indoor volleyball group, go to the YMCA and swim, go indoor rock climbing, take up ice skating, hiking, taking extra steps throughout your day when possible, and walk, everywhere and anywhere. Changing up the physical fitness counts for a win in diversity and complacency. If you are feeling board with the routine of winter workouts then listen to your body and get outside, get to doing something different. Just don’t stop moving and ascending to your best body.
Photos courtesy of: Boxed Water is Better, Bruce Mars, Geert Pieters, Shoeib Abolhassani, Renata-Adrienn, Nick Fewings