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Fall into Fitness for Your Mental Health

by Jessica B. September 4th, 2013 | Health Observance, Mental Health
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fall leavesFall is slowly approaching, and by taking small steps to fall into fitness, you can find that you not only improve your physical health but your mental health as well. Fall can be a challenge, mentally for many. I know shorter days and longer nights, rainy weather and long gray days can drain me mentally as I get ready to deal with winter SAD (Seasonally affected depression), so a great fitness program can really help stave off these problems before they begin. Here are some tips for aiming towards a successful ‘fall into fitness.’

Make it a habit – They say if you do anything for 21 days, it can develop into a habit, which is great if that habit is exercise. Set a specific time aside each day for 20-30 minutes of exercise. This may mean you continue your fitness routine through other seasons as well.

Make a date of it – Plan with your friends! Agree to meet at the gym at a certain time. Go for long walks during your lunch break. Get up early in the morning for a run. If you are planning to meet someone at that early hour, chances are less that you will cancel.

Get a motivational app – Choose from the many training apps that give you points for your work out. Not only is it great psychological motivation, but also you can use your points to exchange for fun things like Amazon gift cards. It is really great motivation to earn money for your workout!

Do something you like – If you HATE running, don’t do it! Sign up for a dance class instead. Do workout videos of Zumba. Hate dancing? Try signing up for a local sports team or just going out for a walk.

Try something new – Never tried yoga? Pilates? Salsa? Running a 5K race? Make that the goal for the autumn and sign up for a new way of moving. Don’t let yourself get too frustrated right away. Agree to keep up your new activity for the entire fall until you have learned the ropes enough to stop feeling awkward and then decide if this is something for you.

Keep it up! – The long-term goal for fall into fitness is not just to work out for the autumn. Remember that most successful fitness and health programs work because people change their lifestyles, not just tack on one little activity. Try to stick with your changes, or, if you don’t like the new activity, aim to try something else after Christmas.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.