If the start of a new year gives novice or fallen-away exercisers promise for a new start or new journey to a new body, then what does the start of Fall bring? Unfortunately, very few exercisers see Fall as an opportunity to get back in shape. If you live in an area with all four seasons, maybe the fact that it was cold out while the new year began didn’t deter you from getting back into or starting a fitness routine. When Spring came perhaps you were refreshed and continued your workouts while enjoying the wanted warmth outside. Then Summer begins to creep in with it’s allure to the pool and beach. You want to look good for yourself and the beach and pool-goers, so you work out some more. As Summer progresses it gets warmer and hotter outside. Thoughts of humidity sneak into your head and the excuses begin to pile up. “It’s way too hot outside. I can’t be in that humidity!” Maybe you fell out of practice with some of your workouts and spent too much time lounging by the pool instead of swimming in it.

Whatever may or may not be your story, Fall is a good time to “fall back” into fitness. The leaves are turning, but you can turn over your own leaf and make some better decisions for your health’s sake. Don’t let the fact that you may be bundling up soon take away from the reality of the need for exercise. If you have lost any of the fire that was keeping you going, or you want to lose weight or get in shape, don’t allow your mind to convince you to wait until the new year, after all the binge-eating holidays, to start taking control of your life and body.

Here’s some tips and ideas to fall back into fitness:

Use the Fall weather to your advantage. It’s going to get cooler outside. Go for walks and runs.

Set goals for yourself. Pick measurable, attainable goals that can be accomplished at Thanksgiving and then at Christmas.

Frequent the gym. Studies are clear: more people workout and stick to their plan when they go to the gym. There are too many distractions at home, and once you are there (on the couch maybe?) it’s hard to leave again.

Don’t go crazy on holidays. Self-control will need to win in the battle vs. candy on Halloween, the battle vs. pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, and the battle vs. everything at Christmas time.

Don’t beat yourself up. If you aren’t perfect at first with all your workouts, don’t stop. It may take you a little while to get into the habit of exercising, but keep in mind that everything you are doing is bringing you closer to achieving your goals. Stay positive!

As it says in the movie Vanilla Sky, “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.” The time is now. Fall back into your fitness routine. You’ll be glad you did!