by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, Certified Physical Trainer, CPT, WickedFiTT

Fall is the perfect time of year to begin, or ramp up, your fitness program, and this way, by the time the holidays hit, you won’t be easily sidelined (or fattened up) by holiday festivities.

And, the fall season is the perfect time to get into your workout groove and achieve fitness goals by next spring.

Getting into your groove now also ensures that when the dark winter chill comes, you’ll be in the right place mentally and physically to continue staying active until spring.

Here are some fall fitness goals everyone can try:

1. Schedule your workouts

Schedule your workout sessions into your calendar like you would an important meeting, and don’t miss them. You can also fit in activity throughout your day by walking, standing, climbing stairs and stretching (as opposed to sitting) whenever you get the chance. Make it a high priority and schedule your day around the exercise, not the other way around.

2. Set goals

Set short simple goals, such as exercising for 20 minutes as soon as you wake up every Monday. It’s your “Never Miss a Monday Rule.” This makes achieving your simple goals realistic and allows you to progress to longer-term goals.

3. Moderation
(Newbies, listen up)

It’s OK to indulge once in a while with your diet, just be sure to keep your goals in mind each day. If you do veer off course, don’t beat yourself up. Simply make better choices at your next meal. Take baby steps.

4. Stay hydrated

Water is essential for healthy metabolism and detoxification and for warding off dehydration. Try adding ginger and sliced cucumbers, lemons and limes to your water for added benefits, such as help with indigestion, heartburn, headaches and preventing water weight gain.

5. Stock up on healthy food

Keep your kitchen well stocked with unprocessed, whole foods that are quick and easy to munch on. Cut-up veggies, lean meats, healthy fats and nuts are all great options.

6. Get proper sleep
(This is a tough one)

Lack of sleep is strongly linked to weight gain, low energy and fatigue. Without adequate sleep, you’ll have a harder time sticking to your diet and your exercise plan.

7. Grab a group or a friend

Partnering up with a friend who has similar fitness goals will boost your motivation and your accountability. Plus, it’s way more fun.

8. Track your progress

Our smartphones can assist us in a lot of ways to keep us healthy. From sleep-tracking apps that ensure a sound sleep to work out-tracker apps, to nutrition-tracking apps, your phone can be a simple tool to use for better health.

9. Take time to recover

Overdoing exercise is counterproductive and can actually damage your muscle tissue and cause injuries. Give yourself adequate recovery time between workouts and be sure to alternate muscle groups or body parts in your exercise sessions.

10. It’s all up to you,
so don’t give up

The greatest goals are achieved one step at a time. Keep persevering and you will eventually reach them. Maybe even surpass them. You have to make the decision to get fit. When you commit to it, you’re making a contract with yourself.

What do YOU think?

What are some of your best tips for staying active during the fall? Post your tips on my Facebook page