The weather is cooling down, and that means staying active is more important than ever. A solid exercise routine is vital to protecting our immune system and boosting circulation, both of which keep us healthy and limber once winter (and flu season) rolls around.
So, here are three fitness challenges you can incorporate into your routine over the course of the season. They’re easy, schedule-friendly, and results-oriented. Plus, they’re adjustable, so you can switch it up to tackle new goals with each season.
Gradual Build Up
Wish you could do the splits? Never been able to do a pull-up? Can’t run more than a few blocks without walking? We all have our personal fitness blocks, and we’ll be the first to admit that they can feel pretty insurmountable. For this challenge, you’ll ease into a gradually increasing routine that helps you achieve your goals with what feels like minimal effort. Over the next 12 weeks (from the start of Fall until the start of Winter) break up your goal into increments. For instance, if you want to build up to running six miles consistently, spend the first two weeks running half of a mile, spend the next two running a full mile, and then work up by half-mile increments each week. You can adjust this for any fitness goal: start small and consistent with your training, and gradually increase. Be sure to track your routine (and your progress!) on your calendar so you can see how far you’ve come.
If you’re an all-or-nothing type of person, you might fall into the trap of skipping out on your wellness routine simply because you don’t have the time to commit to a full practice (we’re guilty). But sometimes, a small change is all it takes to make a world of difference. This fall, try devoting 10 minutes each morning to a quick yoga flow—no more, no less. Stick with this until you can clock at least 21 days of 10 minutes per morning without skipping, and then up the time if you’d like. We think you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference only 10 minutes adds up to over time.
Bring the whole family
If you have kids, finding additional time to exercise can be tough. If you’re looking for a break from jogging with the stroller between WFH meetings, try incorporating active time into your family time at least three times a week. We’re fans of sneaky physical activity—for instance, taking a few tries at the corn maze, picking your own pumpkins at a local farm, taking a frisbee to the park while the weather is still nice. If you have older kids you could try a challenge that involves the whole family: who can run the most miles this month, who logs the most time at the gym, who takes the most steps per day on average. As much as we love a solitary fitness routine, there’s nothing quite like bonding over some healthy family competition.