If you’re like many people, you’re waiting until after the big holidays to start a fitness regimen or get your eating back on track. There’s something so logical about starting fresh each new year; that’s why everyone does it, right? It’s like getting a clean slate to do it right once and for all. Besides, who starts a fitness plan in October?!
You, if you’re smart!
The heat of summer months can sometimes make us sluggish. And a 95-degree day is not necessarily the best time to walk a few miles, as it poses some additional dangers, especially for previously inactive people. Likewise, the cold winter months make us feel insular; the air is a little too fresh. We are often pressed for time and energy when the days are so short, especially after a full day of work. But fall—with its clear mornings and evenings, its invigorating fresh air, and its gorgeous colors—is the perfect time to make a commitment to exercise.
It takes some time to turn actions into habits. Though information varies, a recent study showed that the average time it takes for a new practice to become habit is about 66 days1. So it makes sense to build up that momentum now. When January 1 rolls around, you’ll already be so dedicated to your routine—and to its positive effects—that you won’t even have to think about whether you’re in the mood to work out on a cold January morning. You’ll already have a couple months of daily exercise under your belt—and off your stomach!
Working out isn’t only about speed and mileage and reps. Sometimes it’s simply about working—out. Sweep, rake, bag leaves. Do some cool-weather gardening. Prepare beds for spring. Chop firewood. Of course, traditional workouts like biking and hiking are even better when the air is cool, and the leaves are colorful!