So, you took the summer off from your fitness goals. You’re not alone. Who can resist all those great treats and events? Barbecues, family reunions, graduation parties, and weddings are all popular summer events that inevitably include too much food and yummy beverages. But just because you took a break doesn’t mean all is lost. A change of season is a great time for a change or renewing of habits. Also, kids are back in school, so it’s the perfect time for parents especially to refocus on their own schedules and personal health priorities. Here are some easy ways to get started and develop positive new habits or rebuild some old ones.
1. Make the time.
Everybody gets 24 hours each day. It’s how we choose to use our time that makes the difference. If you’re a parent or have a very time-consuming profession, it can be even more of a challenge, but not impossible. Get creative with your time, and make exercise an appointment that can’t be missed.
2. Get the “bad” food out of the house.
Everybody’s heard of spring cleaning, right? Well you should do the same with your pantry. This is a great time to seek out the unhealthy foods that made their way into your home over the summer and get rid of them (consuming them is not necessarily the best way to get them out of the house!). It’s really difficult to resist the temptation of foods that are consistently within arm’s reach. Out of sight, [mostly] out of mind.
3. Find an accountability partner.
Workout buddies are important. Most people find it easier to stay on track if they know someone is holding them accountable. And knowing you will have to answer to your workout partner as to why you’re cancelling a session makes it more likely you will stay on track. It’s also important to have someone around to celebrate victories. A little encouragement goes a long way!
4. Be patient with yourself.
The old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The same holds true for getting back on your road to fitness. Most studies indicate that it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. Give yourself the necessary time to get back on track and take it slowly. You may not be able to do everything you were doing before you took a break, but don’t let that stop you from getting going.
5. Don’t worry about the past.
Concern yourself with the future! Don’t beat yourself up about what happened over the summer. The most important thing is that you have made the decision to start again. Start eating better and exercising regularly and looking ahead. Your future self will thank you.
6. Pick a workout routine you enjoy.
Be sure that you are balancing cardio and resistance training to get the most out of every session. If you like what you’re doing, and it suits your lifestyle, you will be more likely to stick to it. If you’re looking for help and additional support, consider a personal trainer to provide some guidance as to what would be the best plan for you, and to make sure you are on the right track.
7. Get your healthy habits in place before the holidays.
If you already have set patterns for eating better and exercising regularly, it will be easier to say no to some of those not-so-healthy treats that will inevitably be coming your way. You can enjoy the holidays without getting entirely off-track with your goals.
Once you get started, the memories of how good it feels to treat your body right will return, the results will start to show, and you will want to continue. Best of luck and enjoy the journey!