Many people feel their best workout times are at New Year or in the springtime when the threat of bikini weather looms ahead. Not for me, though. For me, it’s fall. There are actually a lot of reasons for that.
I try to keep up my fitness all year round, of course, but there are certain times that it is more successful than others. Fall is the time of year that beats them all.
• The weather
Likely the most obvious is the fact that the fall temperatures give a wonderful break from the heat of the summer. I can head outside, workout just as hard as I wanted to in the summer without drowning in sweat or getting lightheaded from becoming dehydrated and overheated. When I know I’ll be able to stay on my feet the whole time, it’s a lot easier to keep pushing forward.
• Smaller gym crowds
The closer the year gets to the holidays, the fewer people go to the gym. They’re too busy and unmotivated. I’m busy, too, but I’ve made a priority of taking care of myself. I know the difference it makes in my energy levels to keep up with my kids as well as how it helps me to stave off depression.
• Mental health
Speaking of depression, I’ve struggled with it off and on, but I know that the more I keep up my workouts, the less likely I am to sink into that dark place. This is especially important as the days get shorter. Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a problem in the winter. In the fall, I tell myself that now is the time when I make my fitness goal commitments to myself. The habits I set up in the fall are the ones I’m most likely to stick to at least until spring. Getting through SAD and keeping depression away depends on me exercising and eating right the majority of the time.
• The neighborhood is beautiful
As soon as the fall even hints at getting started, the entire neighborhood changes. The leaves start to change color. People put out different colors of flowers and plant arrangements, like chrysanthemums (which seem to come in more colors every year!), and a lot of houses have great seasonal décor out like bales of hay, colored leaf wreaths, maize cob door hangings, scarecrows and more. It’s fun to have a look at the way the neighborhood changes for the season and to do that, I need to get out and walk!
• The kids are in school
Finally, as though the rest of these points weren’t enough, the fact that the kids are back in school means that I have a few minutes to myself every day. Suddenly, I’m not exercising just to get it done, like I was in the summer. I can exercise to enjoy it and take my time a little because my kids are in their classrooms.