How to Stick to your Holiday Fitness goals throughout the fall and winter
As the days get shorter and it gets a bit colder outside, most of us tend to shift our focus from outside activities and exercise to the good ol’ indoors. But often, this can lead to a feeling of dread, and lack of motivation to continue all the progress you made in the Summer. Maybe you have a lack of excitement over the treadmill, a feeling that you may not have time to get a workout in at the busy gym waiting for the machines?
Every year, the leaves on the trees begin to turn, the days get shorter and Fall is here. Calendars fill up with family and social obligations, and we tend to have a little less energy – putting our health on the shelf until next Spring.
How can I help this? This is the question I asked myself last year and adopted it to use with my personal training clients. I usually will help our clients redirect their focus and set new goals for the Fall and Winter months that will help them come Springtime, not have to play the ‘catch up’ game. We focus on more of a maintenance plan and a more well-rounded balanced approach to their goals. With the cooler temps clients need a little encouragement to get out of bed early, say no to that nightcap, and bring the focus back to keeping them from back sliding and losing the strength and all the hard work they put in during the summer months.
What can you do to combat the sabatoge season and conquer fitness this winter? Here are a few strategies I use:
Client A: Male who desires to put on some muscle.
Fall Plan: Sweater season is a great time to focus on really pushing hard at the gym and allowing a little more calorie consumption paying attention to your protein intake. During this phase we will not only put on a bit of muscle but a little fat as well. Don’t worry though, by keeping your protein level at a higher ratio and eating healthy foods, not garbage, you won’t lose muscle and the small amount of fat gained will come right off as soon as Spring hits and we enter the shredding phase- high intensity and endurance phase.
Client B: Female who has a busy schedule due to family obligations and work.
Fall Plan: Although she would love to drop 15 pounds before the New Year, the reality is she has far too many obligations (parties to plan, holiday to-do lists) to successfully give the effort that it may take. At this point it is more about focusing on other wellness goals: Sleep, strength gains, or consistency. Quite often the goal here is to just maintain our current state or shift the focus to non weight loss goals. Encouraging clients to set goals but also be realistic is my top priority in meeting their training goals.
Overall, I tend to change it up this time of year with my clients and incorporate some meal-planning sessions, gear up a plan for running season, as well as create a systemized approach to their training. Winter doesn’t have to put a spare tire on your middle and you don’t have to lose performance in lieu of the weather. Stay motivated. Stay Consistent and keep it fun!