How many New Year's Eves have you spent sipping a drink while the snacks and other foods were making their way through the crowd and as the ball starts to drop, vowing to get in better shape in the coming year? And how many times have you failed to follow through?

Well, December 31 over a drink is too late to set goals and make promises!

Fall, on the other hand, is a great time to start a fitness program because This way, you're going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months. With the change of seasons comes a renewed time to rethink and restart.

Besides, What's really so special about January?  You can make October as the new Fitness Month.

Here are Few ways to start making the most of the Fall season. And who knows? This year, you might be in great shape before that New Year's Eve party rolls around.

Take advantage of the weather. Fall can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, pumpkin carving, a gorgeous canopy of fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. These months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy the cooler temperatures.  That "Zing" in the air almost makes you want to get out and do something.

Walking, Hiking and Cycling, are all awesome in the fall. Each state has set aside some pristine land for all of their residents to enjoy. Discover park trails and take in some new scenery, whether you're walking, or biking.

In places where snow falls early, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Or, if you live near the beach, get out and play volleyball, throw the Frisbee around, or play a vigorous game of fetch with your dog.  Remember, your dog needs to stay healthy too and taking him/her along with you can make an enjoyable experience for both of you and may save in the long run on some vet bills!

If you're near a lake, try kayaking or canoeing, for an excellent whole-body workout and a great change of pace. And remember, it doesn't have to seem like exercise to be a great workout.

Raking leaves or doing some fall outdoor yard work is a great way to get the heart pumping, and it's great for calorie-burning too, and know what?? It's Free!!, you won't be paying any gym fees here.

Think outside the box. Always wanted to learn to tap dance? Attempt to box? Master the jump rope? Fall is a great time to learn something new. And some of your local high schools offer some unique classes for adults in the evenings, so why not check them out?

Also, many classes at gyms and elsewhere get started in the fall, so look around and see if something intrigues you.  And with the kids in school, parents have more time to check out those classes.

Fall is the perfect time to gain new physical skills because you burn fewer calories when you begin a new activity (thanks to the learning curve). If you learn something new now, by next summer, you'll have mastered the skill -- and you'll burn more calories doing it, just in time for swimsuit season.

Be an active TV watcher. Many people get geared up for fall premieres of their favorite television shows. So if you enjoy watching the latest episodes of your favorite shows, get moving while your watching. Make a date with exercise and the TV at the same time. Put your set by your exercise bike or treadmill of have it close enough to you so you can at least listen while you're pumping some iron to tone up.  While you watch, you can walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do triceps dips off the couch, or lift weights. During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. In a one-hour show, you probably have close to 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption.

Integrate exercise into your life. You already know the obvious suggestions: park farther away from your destination; take stairs instead of elevators; take a walk during your lunch break. Here are a few that are less obvious:

If you're spending the afternoon taking kids to soccer practice, instead of reading a book or visiting with another parent, why not walk around the outside of the field while they practice?Or (if you feel comfortable) warm up and cool down with the kids.But check with their coaches first to make sure its ok with them.  Usually, the coaches will welcome a parent to work out with them to help motivate the kids.

Then you can always try "walking meetings.  Try going for a walk, it puts a new slant on brainstorming a new idea or approach to one that is getting a little tired.  You'll be surprised how things get sorted out much more quickly,and everyone feels better for doing it.
You can even get moving while you get motivated -- for fitness or other life goals. Get some inspirational music or find a motivational talk and download it to your smartphone and walk while you listen for 30 minutes.

Rejuvenate yourself. Fall can be the time to rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit. Get a massage after your run. Learn to meditate. Take an art class. Treat yourself not just with exercise but other activities that promote wellness, so you can feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  You will be surprised just how much you will be looking forward to some of these extra perks!

Remember the 30-day rule. Studies have shown, It takes about four weeks for the body to adapt to lifestyle changes. That's why people who give up on their fitness programs tend to do so within the first 30 days.

So, when the alarm goes off in the morning and it's darker and colder, don't roll over and hit the snooze button. Go to sleep the night before already looking forward to your morning agenda of stretching and hitting the local roads or park trails. Remember, we spoke about motivation?  This is all part of the new mind-set to keep the proper attitude to getting your body into a healthier state.

Try to stick with a program for a month. After a month, behavior patterns will have adapted and it will be much easier to stick with it after that.

Strive for the 3 Cs. in getting a healthier you. Commitment, Convenience, and Consistency, having all three of these working together for you, will lead to a successful fitness program.

First, exercise takes commitment. We're all busy; that's just part of our lives. But if you commit to doing an exercise program, and make it a part of your daily schedule, it's then a done deal for you.

You have to start planning exercise, just like you do everything else, like meetings, dinners, and getting kids to lessons and practice. Exercise for you is just as important! Put in on the calendar, because later always turns into never.

Convenience means choosing a gym that's close by, or an activity you can do at home, or a time when you're not likely to be interrupted.  Again, a walking program is probably one of the most convenient form of exercise you can do for yourself. You set the time, the distance and the repetition you want to do each week.  

Finally, there's Consistency. It's much to work out for 10 minutes each day the for 1 hour a month!  The  better you feel the more you can add additional time to your routines and before you know it, you're in a win-win situation.

Deal with darkness. The best way to enjoy fall is to exercise outdoors. But it is getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in the morning, so be smart and safe. Just because it's 6 p.m. (or a.m.) and dark doesn't mean you can't work out.  In walking or running outdoors you can always wear a reflective vest and carry a flashlight.

If you're cycling, make sure you have a light on your bike or on your helmet. If possible, use trails or a local school track to avoid vehicle traffic. Try to work out at the same time every day, so drivers get used to seeing you.

Dress in layers. When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you'll feel overdressed.

These days, there's no lack of great weather gear, like the Proviz High Visibility line of clothing with wicking capabilities, often called because this fabric wicks moisture away from your skin so you're not exercising with wet fabric hanging on you.

It's recommended that you dress in three layers: The inner layer should be a moisture-wicking fabric, so it wicks away sweat and you're not chilled. The second layer should be a warmth layer, and the third layer should be a protective layer (like a windbreaker or rain slicker, depending on the weather).

Exercising in the Fall sun means wearing your sunglasses, as well. UV protection is important year round. Fall sun can be blinding at certain times of the day.

Find your motivation. People are motivated by different things, there have been multiple studies on this.  It's important to first discover what your individual goals are, whether it's losing weight, strengthening and toning, or preparing for a race or event, or marathon.

But goals aren't enough to get you there; you have to be motivated by the day-to-day workouts. So choose something you'll enjoy doing and will be likely to keep up, whether it's walking or hiking with a friend, working with a trainer, or taking part in a "boot camp" class.

Creating a challenge for yourself will motivate you, as will encouragement and accountability. You want to know when you're doing a good job, and when you're not. One way to keep account of your progress and goals is an Activity Watch or even one with a Heart Rate Monitor. Today there are many out there and at we have gathered what we believe are the best in today's market, all in one convenient location.

Remember too, that anything worth having, such as a healthier YOU, takes work.

Keep this in mind as part of your goal set. When someone asks you what you're doing and why you're doing it. Ask them to tell you something that you can do three times a week for 10 to 20 minutes and be great at? It's all in your commitment to a better you!  

If it was easy to be great, everybody would be great.


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