Sync Fitness Blog

5 Practical Health and Fitness Tips for New Moms

Whether you’re a seasoned mama, a brand new parent, or expecting a bundle of joy, you know (or will soon find out!) that motherhood, while a labor of love, is a full-time job. Especially on the first go-around, new moms are bound to encounter several challenges — from running on very little sleep to finding time for self-care. But with plenty of mindfulness and a little support, you’ll also discover that the strength to overcome the hurdles is right there within you!

You likely spent a good deal of effort optimizing your health throughout your pregnancy. When your baby’s health depends on it, there’s an extra boost of motivation. However, after your baby arrives, it’s just as important to follow a personal health and fitness regimen for your own sake. The flight attendant’s script before every plane take-off also happens to offer wise life advice: Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Here’s how you can achieve it.

1. Don’t overcommit. Set goals within your reach and take baby steps toward each milestone. If you know you can’t swing a 1-hour gym session every day, start small by committing to three 45-minute workouts each week, such as a group boot camp class to keep you accountable. Ultimately, you simply want to get your feet moving, even if it’s a quick stroll on your favorite trail with baby and stroller in tow. If your little one is napping and you can’t get out of the house, bring the exercise to you! Try some yoga at home or a fun workout DVD in your living room.

2. Ask for help! Sometimes we all need a helping hand, and there is no shame in asking for it. This is especially true when you are a new mother adapting to a more demanding schedule. Ask a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor for help with childcare on a day when you could really use a brisk nature walk to clear your mind and get your blood pumping. You may also consider arranging a babysitting swap with your other parent friends. You’ll be happier and healthier when you tap into your support system.

3. Make a plan. While we all know life doesn’t always go according to plan (especially when young children are in the mix), it helps to make a weekly checklist you can reference for guidance when things get hectic. Leave space for some workout time and pat yourself on the back as you tick off each completed exercise session. Track your progress and make a game of improving your results each week.

4. Exercise early. Some of us aren’t morning people. However, when schedules are busting at the seams, early morning is often the best time to squeeze in some exercise or “me time” before other obligations stand in the way. If possible, do this before your spouse or partner leaves the house, or arrange for childcare.

5. Go easy on yourself. There will be days when the unexpected happens. Remember to go easy on yourself if you miss a scheduled workout. If you miss a day, just keep on truckin’.

4 Homemade Nut Butters (and Their Health Benefits)

Nut butters make the perfect pre- or post-workout snack! Most nut varieties are packed with protein to promote energy and recovery. They can also help balance cholesterol levels and tend to be a good source of healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), fiber, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals (these vary depending on the type of nut).

The problem with many store-bought nut butters is that they often contain additives, including excess sugar, sodium, and trans fats such as partially hydrogenated oils. When you make your own DIY versions, you can be confident about what you’re putting into your body — no surprise ingredients here!

Because nut butters are relatively easy to make at home, you can try several batches using a variety of your favorite nuts. Simply soak, dehydrate in the oven, and process until smooth. Then scoop a heaping spoonful onto yogurt and granola, dip apple slices or celery, slather onto a slice of whole-grain toast… there are so many ways to enjoy your daily serving of this healthy yet hearty food.

Here are a few favorite nut butter varieties beyond classic peanut butter. Happy snacking!

1. Almond Butter

Almond butter has been climbing the ranks as a popular peanut butter substitute for sandwiches, dipping, and even baked goods. In addition to its complex and creamy texture, it boasts loads of fiber, beneficial fats, protein, manganese, vitamins E and B, and magnesium. Almonds may also help control blood pressure and cholesterol and can be excellent sustenance for those looking to lose weight. This is one butter that packs a punch — both in flavor and health benefits!

2. Cashew Butter

Cashew butter is less common, but still a great option. Cashews contribute to bone health (courtesy of calcium and magnesium) and can also help lower blood pressure. Much like almonds, they can help curb your hunger with monounsaturated fats. They are also rich in vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

3. Pecan Butter

Pecans are practically nature’s multivitamin. They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Fun fact: they are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut!

4. Hazelnut Butter

Hazelnuts are a great source of oleic acid, which lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol, plus vitamin E, flavonoids, and vitamin B, which supports proper energy metabolism.

Any of these nut butters are great choices before or after your workout in order to simultaneously fuel up on nutrients and curb your hunger. Sufficient vitamin and mineral intake is essential to ensure your body stays strong and healthy as you continue along your fitness journey. Consider these tasty treats for your active lifestyle!

How to Find a Workout Modality You Actually Enjoy

One of the most challenging aspects of committing to an exercise regimen can be finding one you enjoy. If your current workout modality doesn’t fuel you, or if you find it more frustrating or boring than rewarding, it can be that much more tempting to let your goals fall by the wayside — especially in the initial stages before you start to notice concrete results.

If you are committing to boosting your health and improving your fitness, start by spending some time experimenting to determine what forms of exercise and workout modalities best fit your preferences and lifestyle. Motivation can sometimes be hard to come by, so if you’re struggling to kickstart your fitness journey, try working out in a group environment where other people can provide you with support.

What Do You Want from Your Workout?

Everyone has a different lifestyle with varying comfort levels. What are your personal fitness goals? For instance, are you hoping to increase cardio for heart health, supplement a healthy diet with regular activity, or build muscle tone? Do you prefer competitive activities, such as handball or soccer, or do you prefer a more collaborative workout environment, such as a group class? It’s important to understand your own goals and motivations, and there is no problem with pursuing realistic, gradual milestones.

Set bite-sized, short-term objectives to help push you toward your longer-term ones. Each day on your feet is another step toward your optimal health. Choosing exercises that are fun, that you look forward to each day, is important in achieving these steps. The more you enjoy your workout, the easier it will be to reach concrete goals. Eventually you can consider an integrated approach that focuses on major points such as flexibility, endurance, joint health, muscle-building, cardio, and more.

Find the Right Program and Commit to It!

One of the most important things you can do is find ways to increase accountability in order to fully commit to an exercise program. Signing up for a multi-week class is one especially effective way to do this.

If you’re looking for a fitness program that will help you reach your fitness goals in a fun, social environment, consider becoming a Sync Fitness member with access to our weekly boot camp courses. We also offer an 8-week program that includes emotional and social support from other women: our Accountability Club! This is a great option for those who seek additional motivation and encouragement within a distinct timeline. Contact us today — we love helping fellow fitness warriors find exercise modalities that suit them!

Start Your Day and Fuel Your Body with These 4 Green Smoothie Recipes

Waking up and staying alert in the morning can already be a struggle. A cup of coffee or caffeinated tea can provide a short-term fix, but loading up on syrupy vanilla lattes and other processed sugars can end in a mid-morning energy crash. On the other hand, starting your day with a refreshing and nutrient-rich breakfast smoothie can keep you satisfied and naturally energized through lunchtime. Add a handful of greens and you’ve got a delicious opportunity to drink your veggies! All you need to do is grab your blender and a few additional fresh ingredients.

A serving of spinach in your smoothie can provide many health benefits courtesy of essential vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants including:

– Magnesium (bone and heart health, premenstrual syndrome relief)
– Iron (Energy and athletic performance)
– B2 (Energy and mineral absorption)
– B6 (Heart and kidney health, improved metabolism)
– Folate (Heart health, lower risk of depression and some cancers)
– Vitamin K (Bone, blood, and heart health)
– Vitamin E (Hair, skin, and blood health)
– Vitamin A/beta-carotene (Eye health and skin repair)
– Calcium (Strong bones, muscle and nervous system health)
– Potassium (Blood pressure, heart, muscle, and bone health)

And there are even more perks to keep you feeling (and looking) at your prime! To name just a few:

– Weight maintenance without going hungry (stay full on fewer calories)
– Antioxidants that keep your immune system healthySustained energy for workouts and day-to-day stamina
– Increased fiber intake for a happy digestive system
– Clearer, brighter skin

If you don’t have spinach on hand, you can also substitute kale in its place for many of the same benefits.

Convinced yet? Read on for four tasty and refreshing green smoothie recipe picks!

1. Low Carb Green Smoothie

Sync Fitness makes healthy eating less of a chore with our free e-book, 42 Delicious Fat-Burning Recipes (get your free download right on our homepage!). You’ll find dozens of breakfast, snack, and lunch and dinner entree recipes to complement your Sync boot camp or fitness program.

In the mornings, start with our very own low-carb green smoothie recipe. Blend coconut water, almond butter, wheatgrass, spinach, banana, low-carb chocolate protein, and ice and sip on 15 grams of protein with less than 200 calories. See page 10 of the book for complete measurements, nutritional analysis, and more details.

2. Tropical Green Smoothie

Add pineapple, mango, papaya, or guava (or all of the above!) to your blender with your favorite greens for a quick island getaway in the AM. This vibrant tropical green smoothie recipe relies on ripe frozen pineapple and mango chunks for a bright dose of fruity flavor (and for their anti-inflammatory properties plus digestive and immune system support).

3. Detox Green Smoothie

This Spring Detox Smoothie is packed to the brim with veggies for maximum nutrient power. Green tea adds even more antioxidants. Blend digestive superstars such as cilantro, baby kale, cucumber, avocado, ginger, and lemon, and throw in a hint of pineapple for just enough sweetness.

4. Berry Green Smoothie

Mixed frozen berries and sliced banana make this an accessible green smoothie for even the pickiest eaters. A scoop of natural peanut butter means additional tasty protein and flaxseed meal adds fiber and heart-healthy fatty acids.

Why Staying Hydrated Through Winter Is So Important to Your Health

People tend to think of dehydration as a summer issue exacerbated by seasonal heat. However, you can actually become dehydrated just as easily, if not more so, during the chilly winter months. Your body’s natural thirst sensitivity is lower in the winter, meaning you may not feel as compelled to sip water as you do during the summer. Combine that with dry air, from both outdoor conditions and indoor heaters, and you have increased potential for damaging dehydration. Proper hydration is critical, even when you may not feel the urge to have a glass of water. This is true for everyone, but becomes especially important for athletes and those who exercise.

Winter: The Perfect Storm for Dehydration

Winter conditions can be draining in many ways, and a reduced sense of thirst doesn’t help to restore your vitality. Believe it or not, sweat evaporates faster in cold air. The cold and dry winter air can also actively sap your skin of its natural moisture. Most of us bundle up to fend off the cold, which in turn adds weight that makes your body work harder during daily activity. This means even more sweat and more moisture loss. Poor hydration is a serial contributor to many health concerns, including fatigue, urinary issues, and decreased physical performance with longer recovery times.

How to Maintain Proper Hydration

If you’re exercising outdoors, wear several layers of clothing. This way, you can remove pieces as you heat up, reducing the amount of moisture lost to excessive sweating. In addition to staying on top of your daily recommended fluid intake, remain vigilant about drinking water and sports drinks to replace what you lose during exercise. Try drinking room temperature water, which can be easier for the body to absorb than cold beverages. Try to supplement your fluid intake by snacking on plenty of fruit, which can also provide a short-term energy boost from their natural sugars and carbohydrates. Milk (or even the occasional mug of chocolate milk or hot cocoa!) can provide your body with protein, some fat, minerals such as calcium, and vitamins such as vitamin D.

Finally, remember that both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, meaning they can contribute to dehydration. Take care to increase your fluid intake by one glass of water for each caffeinated or alcoholic drink you have. Your body will thank you!

Get Real This New Year: Fitness Resolutions You Can Actually Achieve

We’re all for committing to self-improvement in the year ahead — but some New Year’s resolutions are notorious for falling by the wayside when we set, ahem, lofty expectations. The reality is sobering: a mere 8 percent of people complete their resolutions. That’s a pretty exclusive group. Far more of us fall into the 92 percent that let go of these goals – often by February. The ensuing disappointment can feel defeating.

The problem, in many cases, is that many people set goals that are difficult to achieve. The key is to focus on what you can realistically commit to accomplishing, especially when considering your personal track record and comfort level. Often, setting small milestone goals can help get the ball rolling, and you may then feel inspired to use that momentum to surpass what you hoped for.

Maybe you want to get in shape, and your goal for doing so is to start running. It sounds awesome to say you’re going to run a marathon in the summer, but for some, that’s an extraordinary goal that can feel far out of reach when your body isn’t used to long-distance running and you find yourself out of breath after a mile. Instead, you may consider signing up for a 5K in the spring and a 10K in the fall. Work toward those smaller goals, and the motivation you feel upon hitting them can spur you to aim for a marathon.

Experts note that the key is to be honest with yourself. Understand what your current fitness level is and where you want to be. Not everyone starts from the same place, and that’s fine. Fitness requires some lifestyle changes, and it’s not going to happen overnight. Below are a few more tips that can help you steer yourself in a positive direction:

 

– Pair up with a workout buddy who can help keep you accountable.
– Join a class or a boot camp to jumpstart your new lifestyle.
– Shoot for small goals first – like running a mile or bench-pressing 100 pounds – with the idea that you’ll level up as your body adapts.
– Keep a journal to track your progress.
– Try not to stress out about it. Instead, find workouts that you enjoy and want to do.

 

If you set up realistic goals for the new year, we’re confident you can and will tackle your New Year’s fitness resolutions!

Sync Fitness is here to help you along the way. We wish you a happy and healthy 2017!

Health-Conscious Holiday Baking Substitutions to Keep You on Track

cookies-christmas-xmas-baking

 

The holidays are here, and families all over are starting to plan their Thanksgiving, Christmas, and miscellaneous winter holiday celebration feasts. Whether you’re hoping to add some healthier options to an ultra-rich and indulgent Thanksgiving table or want to make your Chanukah cookies healthier because of a family member’s dietary needs, there are a number of healthy, simple substitutions that can turn even the most decadent of holiday treats into healthier yet equally delicious alternatives!

From flour substitutions to reduce gluten intake and calorie count to saturated fat substitutions to maintain heart health, there are plenty of kitchen hacks to improve the dietary value of your seasonal baked goodies.

1. Replace 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of pureed avocado. This substitution works best in brownies and chocolate cakes. Once pureed, avocado has a very similar texture and consistency when compared with room temperature butter. Both ingredients contribute to the smooth consistency of batter, but while butter is a source of unhealthy saturated fat, avocado provides the “good” kind of fatty acids. By switching out the heavy butter with avocado, you can maintain richness and flavor while improving the nutritional value of your chocolaty baked goods!

2. Replace 1 cup of refined sugar with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce. You should reduce the liquids that you add to the recipe by ¼ cup for every cup of applesauce used. This substitution is a vegan go-to, and can be used in just about any baked recipe. From oatmeal cookies to sweet breads, this sugar-cutting switch works wonders.

3. Replace 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of canned black beans. This substitution is best in brownies; it may not work as well in other dishes. It may sound strange, but it cuts gluten and calories while adding a punch of protein and fiber. You may notice a slight difference in texture, but it won’t impact the flavor much. It also adds extra depth to the color of the finished brownies.

4. Replace eggs with flax meal in water. This substitution works best in muffins, cakes, and cookies that rely on eggs for structure and consistency. Mix 1 tablespoon of flax meal (fresh ground is ideal) with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for five to ten minutes. This mixture can replace a single egg; adjust as necessary for your recipe. Store flax meal in the fridge to increase its shelf life, or grind whole flax seeds, which can store for longer, as you need them.

5. Replace 1 cup of butter with chia seeds in water. It’s important that this substitution not be used if you’re also replacing eggs with flax seeds. This substitution works best in muffins, cakes, and sweet breads. Unlike the flax seeds, the chia seeds aren’t ground into meal. You mix 2-3 tablespoons with 1 cup of water and let it sit for fifteen minutes. This mixture can replace 1 cup of butter. The chia seeds add potassium and a little extra protein to the recipe, while cutting out a lot of fat.

6. Replace 1 egg with a chia seed mixture. Again, do not use this substitution in the same recipe as a chia seed and butter substitution. This is a well-loved vegan substitution that works in just about any baking recipe. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 1 cup of water and let sit for fifteen minutes. This mixture can replace 1 egg. Scale up as necessary to reduce fat and overall calories in your favorite sweet baked goods.

7. Replace 1 cup of oil or butter with 1 cup of mashed, ripe banana. This substitution works best in brownies, cookies, or basic sweet breads (hint: try it with banana bread!). The banana has the same consistency as room temperature butter, and instead of fats, it adds potassium, Vitamin B6, and extra fiber to your sweet treats.

**New Member Extravaganza**

loveWe love you, our members – like really LOVE you. And we have really big hearts, so we have room to love MORE members. Sync Fitness is all about building community with the right kind of people. You, our members, have shown us time and again that you have the most fabulous friends, families and co-workers. We want you to invite them to come check out our community to see if it could make their life as awesome as it’s made your life.

So, we thought we’d put together a little friendly competition……

We are hosting a New Member Extravaganza and Raffle for the month of September. Yes, there will be prizes. Yes, you’ll want to win them. Current members and new members (all the folks you invite) are all eligible to participate!

To enter:
When you bring a guest to try out classes anytime through September 30th, you will be entered into our raffle. For every additional guest you bring, you get an additional entry (so if you bring 3 people to try out a class, you get 3 raffle entries.)

When one of your guests signs up for membership anytime in September, you get 2 more raffle entries AND your guest (the new member) gets 2 raffle entries. From there, the new member is also welcome to start inviting people in order to get more entries.

Note: when you invite someone to come try out class, they are invited to come to as many classes as they want for the week – yes, an entire week free (over $50 value!)

If you are a former member and you want to return to Boot Camp, you will get one entry into the raffle upon signing up. From there, you may invite folks and play the game like everyone else!

To qualify for the GRAND PRIZE, you must bring in at least 2 visitors who become new members or a total of 4 or more guests. All members who are eligible for the GRAND PRIZE will participate in the GRAND PRIZE drawing. If you don’t win the GRAND PRIZE, you will be offered one of the Additional Raffle Prizes listed below.

GRAND PRIZE:
$500 Costco Vacation Package to one of the following destinations:
* Kauai
* Cancun
* Los Cabos
* Puerto Vallarta
* Aruba
* Turks and Caicos
* Dominican Republic
* Bahama Cruise
* Caribbean Cruise

(In lieu of travel, the winner of this prize can also opt for a $500 cash.)

ADDITIONAL RAFFLE PRIZES:Anyone who brings one or more guests during the New Member Extravaganza will be eligible to win these prizes. Your chances of winning go up the more guests you bring and when your guests become members!
* Fit Bit Alta ($130 value)
* $100 Nordstrom Gift Card
* $100 Athleta Gift Card
* $100 Ethan Stowell Restaurants Gift Card
* $100 Unravel Therapeutics Gift Card

Our New Member Extravaganza will culminate with a Member Appreciation Party and raffle drawing on Thursday, Oct 6.

This contest starts NOW. The fastest way to start inviting is to share this blog post with your gang via Facebook or email. GAME ON!
ChampagneParty

3 Ways to Never Diet Again

img_5033I don’t believe in dieting. How about you? I would love to help you reframe your headspace around nutrition and dieting. It is one of my biggest passions.

Most women use food as a form of punishment and reward. Many of us have been doing this almost out entire lives. So, it can be really challenging go stop the vicious cycle that runs on repeat in our heads and in our habits.

At Sync Fitness, we talk a TON about mindset around food in our Total Body Transformation Program, so if you’re already signed up for that, you’ll get a lot of support in this area (if you’re not signed up, please join us!) I thought it might be helpful to give you a little sneak peek at some of the ways we talk about food in our programs.

Here are 3 practices ingrained in our Total Body Transformation Program to ensure you will never have to diet again. Ever.

1. Eliminate deprivation.
Most people think that to get results, it has to be really hard and really painful. Maybe you remove entire food groups or make solemn promises to yourself like, “I will never eat sugar again.” This is all well and good for a day or two. And then, failure… You eat the sugar. You hate yourself. You are back to where you started, but with a more damaged sense of self. You do this over and over – maybe every single Monday.

This is so damaging. It is hard on you physically, but it is emotional and mental TORTURE. You deserve so much better.

How about you work from a place of abundance instead of deprivation. “I can have allll the fruits and veggies and protein I want. I can eat so many things I enjoy. I can even have a little sugar or alcohol or bread here and there and still get the results I want. Nothing is off limits.”

See how different this is? It is entirely possible to get results without a deprivation based diet.

2. Only practice sustainable habits.
For the love of God, don’t stop eating carbs (or any other food group!) That is not sustainable. It is just a horrible way to torture yourself. Also, do not commit to eating the exact same boring, bland meals day after day just to see if the scale will move.

Practice habits that are enjoyable and sustainable. Make one new dinner recipe a week from your favorite healthy website (I love skinnytaste.com or realhealthyrecipes.com)

Allow yourself to have your favorite alcoholic drink 1-2 nights a week.

Learn how to healthify your favorite carbs (zoodles! cauliflower rice! spaghetti squash!)

Eat dessert. Not every night. But once a week or so – if that’s your favorite treat (I’d rather have wine, lol!)

Exercise 3-5 days a week. Not every single day. That is not sustainable. And you’ll likely hurt yourself.

So, choose habits that challenge you, but set you up for success. If you set yourself up to win and you will keep winning!

3. Do not rely on quick fixes.
Weight loss and fat loss takes time. Losing water weight can be fast. Losing muscle mass can be fast if you’re undernourished. Losing fat is a slow process where you must learn patience and self love. That is the only way to ensure long term success.

When you take baby steps every day, you form habits and results that will last a lifetime. If you read any stories of The Biggest Loser – Where Are They Now, almost all of them have regained their weight and then some.

Crazy intense programs do not work because they do not give you lasting results. They perpetuate that vicious cycle of using food and exercise for reward and punishment. That is a horrible way to live. Most of us have been there. I have – for decades. It sucks.

Along those lines, we do not recommend cleanses or detoxes. They are bright, shiny objects, I know. They guarantee amazing results. But here’s the thing… the weight you lose by only drinking juice for 3 days and not chewing one bite of food is water weight. You’ll also lose muscle. You will regain the weight as quickly as you lost it – AND – you will be angry, depressed, frustrated. Because, again, you have had a set back. This wrecks your headspace around nutrition – long after the the cleanse is over. Please, do not do it. (Also, you have a liver. It’s main job is to cleanse you. Every damn day.)

So, let’s make a pact. You in? Join me in NEVER dieting again. Your life will change, forever. You will probably fall in love with yourself, for the first time. It is the best journey.

If you’d like to take this non-diet journey, join us for our Total Body Transformation Program! I will teach you how to totally reframe your relationship with food and exercise, while getting you amazing results.

Warning: this program is only for people who are ready to amaze themselves, and cheer for themselves, and say, “Damn, I ROCK.” I’m not saying that will happen on Day 1. But it will happen. You ready?

xoxo, Sara

PS: if this email struck a chord with you, email me and let me know. I’d love to connect and support you wherever you are at.





How to Transition Your Summer Workout Regimen for Fall

We’ve been lucky with the ‘Indian Summer’ we’ve been having, but we all know fall chills are just days away. You can already smell the difference in the air!

 

As the rainy, cold fall and winter weather arrives, it’s time to transition your summer workout regimen for fall so that you can stay on track with your fitness goals even if the weather isn’t beckoning. Here are some helpful tips to keep you on course:

 

running-573762_960_720Do something active, TODAY. After the beautiful summer weather goes away, it can be more and more difficult to drag yourself out of bed or off the couch to exercise. If you wait for the weather, you probably won’t work out more than a handful of times between now and April of next year. While scraping up some motivation can be tough, make a point each day to do something active. Even if it’s not a complete workout with cardio and strength training, small daily efforts make a difference!

 

Adjust your goals. During the summertime, your goal may have been to maintain a slim tummy to look good in your swimsuit. As you transition your summer workout regimen for fall, consider switching your focus to strength training in order to build muscles and tone. Over time, increase weight resistance while decreasing repetitions, and then increase repetitions again to build stronger muscles in target groups. Pair that with plenty of core exercise, so that when you break out your suit next summer, you’ll love the results.

 

Switch it up. Sometimes, doing something different is a great motivator. Make the change from outdoor-heavy exercise to things that you enjoy and can do inside – racquetball, table tennis, swimming, hula hooping… whatever gets you excited to be active. Taking advantage of the seasonal transition to switch up your workout routine is perfect timing for a twist on your workout routine. And when winter arrives, be sure to take advantage of fun winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

 

Make yourself accountable. Accountability may be the single most important factor to sticking with your workout regimen – during transition times or not! What kind of accountability do you need to reduce the temptation to procrastinate or skip workouts? For some, it’s a friend or exercise buddy, for others, it’s a regular class or bootcamp series, and others only need to make a promise to themselves. Join a team, club (lots of running clubs start in the fall), or bootcamp to kickstart your workout regimen and get some fitness accountability. Whatever your needs are, find a way to support yourself in staying on track during this transition from summer to fall.

 

Plan ahead and track your progress. As the days become shorter, it will become harder to get up early or set aside time after work to exercise in the dark. By scheduling your workout the day before (or planning ahead for the whole week), you can give yourself that extra bit of accountability to make it happen. Keep yourself engaged by tracking your progress, because when you can see the correlation between the improvements during workouts with the effect on the bathroom mirror and scale readings, you’ll be motivated to keep it up.

 

Change your gear. As it gets dark earlier and the sun rises later, it’s important to add layers to your workout apparel to avoid injuring your muscles. You can shed them as you warm up, but these layers accomplish two very important things: retaining moisture and regulating body temperature. These things are critical to keep you from becoming too dehydrated or straining a tight muscle because you haven’t properly warmed it up. If you are exercising outside in the dark, always wear bright, reflective clothing or accessories to stay safe!

 

Think about your meals. Support your exercise efforts with yummy and healthy meals! As summer produce starts to disappear, it will become more and more difficult to find fresh fruit and veggies, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with unhealthy choices. Search Pinterest for tasty-looking healthy meals, and add them to a special board that you can peruse when you’re low on inspiration. Take this an extra step by shopping with the meals for the week in mind – it will save you time and keep you from unhealthy snacking if you know you have the makings of a delicious dinner in the fridge! And, make your breakfast before you go to bed each night, since it’s the most important meal of the day and you want to jumpstart your metabolism right.

 

Drink lots and lots of water. It’s easier to remember to drink water during the summertime, when the hot sun makes you sweat more. But you need to drink lots of water throughout the cold months as well, since dehydration is a sneakier risk. The bite of frosty fall or winter chill makes your body temperature fluctuate, sweat evaporates more quickly, and your body’s thirst response is naturally diminished. This means you may not realize that you are thirsty or dehydrated. To be safe, drink lots of water throughout the day and especially before and after exercising to keep your body hydrated and safe.
Ready? Good luck!