January is the worst time to get started on any new routine, especially if you’re planning to start your fitness journey from scratch.
Not only is it cold and dark out, lots of us are lacking Vitamin D, we’re also irritated with the weight we gained during the holidays and our batteries are running low from all the social gatherings, lunches, brunches, and dinners, as well as all the other tasks we have to take care of.
Getting in shape, losing that extra weight, or just being healthier is a good decision to make, no matter when you do it. However, we’ve been led to believe January 1 is not only the best day for all our resolutions, it is the only choice we have.
Sadly, almost a quarter of us give up on our resolutions just seven days into the New Year. Which is not surprising if you’re new to exercising, or haven’t done any intense physical activity in a while. It will be difficult to breathe and run outdoors if running is your exercise of choice. And then indoors you’ll have to deal with dimly lit, overcrowded gyms, on top of feeling inadequate in this setting if you’re new to it.
This is why Fall is the best time to get a head start on tackling the upcoming holiday stress, the weight we will gain during winter, and the sadness often associated with less sunlight. Stock up on all you need to start your resolutions before anyone else, start following personal trainers on social media for inspiration, and look up free or paid resources online - there are great fitness programs and classes out there that you can download to your phone or tablet and follow along anywhere.
It is also much easier to stick to big changes you make in your life when you start working on them slowly and months in advance. Setting a specific date to achieve your goals is all good and well, but you should instead focus on small achievements and the necessary willpower and motivation to push through.
You don’t even have to go all out at first. A plan that has you introduce short bursts of running during your walks is extremely helpful in getting you from sedentary to fit in a matter of weeks. It all comes down to how bad you want this change and how you, personally, can achieve it without falling to the urge to give up.
STILL NOT CONVINCED?
1 - Avoid getting sick when the temperature drops
By slowly building up to a daily exercise routine during the Fall, you’ll be boosting your immune system ahead of Winter. Meaning you’ll be less likely to get sick and your body will have a higher fighting chance against the common cold or seasonal flu.
2 - Set the groundwork so you can get back to it even after a break
Fall is a time of transition, perfectly placed between the fun activities of Summer, just after work and school resume, and before the big holidays take over. Getting started on your fitness journey now means by the time Winter rolls around you can safely take a break from exercising every day, knowing you’ll quickly get back to it when you have the time, rather than starting from scratch and feeling bad about your lack of progress.
3 - Plenty of healthy choices so you can change your eating habits
Pairing exercise with healthy eating is essential for any fitness journey to be successful in the long run. With Fall comes a selection of seasonal veggies and power foods you normally don’t have access to, which are perfect for fueling your body with the right nutrients and vitamins.
READ MORE: The dangers of trendy diets and how to make dieting work for you.