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How to Beat Five Common Obstacles to Staying in Shape This Fall

As the days get shorter (and the slices of pie keep coming), it can be hard to stay in shape during the fall season. Here are our tips to beat the 5 most common obstacles to staying fit in the fall.

Obstacle No. 1: There’s Not Enough Time

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of physical activity daily for adults 18-64.

But with shorter days in the fall and school back in full swing (not to mention hauling your kids to and from sports and activities), it can feel like there’s simply not enough time in the day to exercise.

Here’s how you can beat the autumn time crunch:

Make a weekly exercise plan: If you wait to exercise until you feel like it, you’re most likely not going to meet your fitness goals. So, try to schedule exercise sessions throughout the week so you can reach (or exceed) the 210-minute goal, whether that means one long session or several short ones.

Build muscle during commercial breaks: Do muscle strengthening exercises twice a week. To accomplish this without disrupting your schedule, try lifting weights during TV commercial breaks or while watching a movie with the family

Obstacle No. 2: It’s Too Cold

If you live in an area where temperatures drop significantly in the fall and winter, it may feel like it’s simply too chilly to get outside and work up a sweat. We understand — who wants to step outside in freezing weather to go for a run?

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can get your exercise in without turning into a human popsicle:

Workout at home: You may not be able to run for miles, but you can still get in plenty of cardio without ever leaving the house. Try running up and down the stairs or jump-roping, doing burpees, jumping jacks or squats.

Hit the gym: If you’re not a fan of working out at home, or if you can’t stay motivated with your comfy couch nearby, you might want to invest in a seasonal gym membership. You’ll get access to indoor treadmills, weight machines and classes until the days start warming up again.

Obstacle No. 3: Exercising Just Isn’t Fun

When you’re not out in the sunshine, exercise can feel even less fun than usual, especially if you’re juggling a busy schedule.

To fix this, try to:

Encourage fun family exercise: There are plenty of ways your whole family can have a blast while working out in the fall. Go for a hike and enjoy the fall colors, play a game of football, collect (and jump into) piles of leaves, take an apple-picking excursion — the possibilities are endless.

Find an activity you like: If colder days are keeping you from engaging in your favorite outdoor activity, like swimming or beach volleyball, that’s no excuse — it’s time to find something else you enjoy. Experiment with yoga, dancing, lifting weights, walking your dog and other types of fall-friendly exercise. 

Obstacle No. 4: Fall Foods Are Too Delicious

Between pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween candy, fresh apple pies and creamy sweet potatoes, classic fall foods can be too tasty to pass up on. Luckily, they don’t have to derail your fitness goals, and you don’t have to deprive yourself entirely.

Here’s how to enjoy seasonal goodies without getting out of shape:

Designate a time for indulgence: By specifying when you’ll allow yourself to grab a latte or savor some Halloween sweets, you’ll give yourself something to look forward to, thereby making it easier to resist temptation the rest of the time. For instance, you could promise yourself a run to the coffee shop every Friday, or a serving of homemade dessert every Sunday. You might also want to try tracking your calorie intake with an app like MyFitnessPal to make sure that you’re meeting your daily diet and nutrition goals.

Meal prep and cook your own treats: If you prepare healthy meals that will last several days (or even the whole week), you’ll make it much harder for yourself to justify spontaneous indulgences. Check out this list for inspiration. By making your own seasonal goodies, you’ll not only enjoy a much tastier result (homemade pie almost always tastes better than store-bought), but also be able to control exactly what goes into it by swapping junky ingredients for more wholesome ones. These healthy pumpkin muffins are a perfect example — they’re whole grain, naturally sweetened and 100 percent delicious.

Obstacle No. 5: You Catch a Cold

Catching a cold or the flu will slow you down and cause you to stray from your fitness plans this fall. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017-2018 flu season saw record-breaking hospitalization rates since 2014-2015. Flu shots have been updated for this year’s flu season and recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

Get your flu shot: It’s the #1 way to avoid the flu

According to the CDC, the single best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu shot. With extended hours and convenient locations, urgent care centers make it easier than ever to get your flu shot. Just walk in or book your spot below:

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