When the weather outside gets frightful: Seven tips to keep fitness and nutrition as top priorities this season.

Today you can find me guest blogging over at “You’ve Been Running Through My Mind All Day.” I always adore switching things up from time to time and bringing my fitness and nutrition knowledge to the page. Erin is new to the blogging world and I have had both the pleasure of working with her and knowing her in real life. Check out her site and check out the article below. I think you will fall in love with this newly wed’s fierce passion for running and fun personality in no time.

I am a firm believer that fall derives its name not only from the leaves that “fall” from the trees but also from how quickly this season can cause us to “fall” into a fitness slump.

The degrees find lower digits, we find chunkier sweaters and our stomachs often find an overhaul in holiday foods and seasonal Starbucks’ brews.

But donning a few extra layers of clothing these days does not give us an excuse to add a layer of laziness as well. Here are seven helpful tips to keep us motivated in walking away from the Halloween candy and walking towards the gym this autumn.

1) Goals=Good (with or without a bikini in mind): It is a dozen times easier to set goals and stick to them when we know the summer months are sashaying towards us with bikinis trailing close behind, but what about the winter months? Goals are still important to set even if the season requires significantly more clothing. Set a realistic goal for yourself and make your deadline the New Year, that way, when the time to make resolutions rolls around you will already be on the right track.

2) Schedule sweets into your planner: Ok, let’s be real. It is absolutely impossible to resist each and every treat that the holiday season ahead has to offer. Pumpkin pies. Apple crisp. Christmas cookies. Our stomachs (and our relatives) won’t let us say no. It is important to allow room for indulging within our health and fitness goals. Adopt the mindset that you should have a slice of pie or a cup of hot chocolate. Our bodies thank us when we allow for indulgences without the guilt attached; we just need to be careful of overdoing it.

Treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte after a successful week of working out or allow yourself a serving of pudding when you stick to your diet regimen for the week. Your results and hard work won’t disappear after one piece of cake, trust me.

3) Keep motivation at every corner: It may sound ridiculous but I often cut out pictures from fitness magazines and hang them in places where I will see them throughout my day. Having a healthy and realistic goal that you can physically see will make you work harder towards achieving that goal. Read success stories and inspirational blogs that will keep you motivated to reach your own goals. Ask friends to cheer you on with your workout goals but also lend yourself to be a motivation to someone else. You will quickly find that wrapping yourself in motivation will feel even warmer than a blanket by the fire. When you wrap yourself with positive motivation- you feel great on the inside and look even better on the outside.

4) Made with love: A good friend of mine actually turned me onto this technique and it has really helped me make healthier and more conscious eating decisions during the holiday season. Ask yourself, was this food made with love? If the answer is yes, then have a bit. Don’t skip out on your aunt’s famous apple pie or your mother’s ravioli (don’t overdo it either though). But think about the love when you are placed in front of a sleeve of Oreo cookies or a line of processed desserts. My rule of thumb: If the love is not there, neither are my taste buds.

5) Make yourself a morning person: I am sure some people felt a tinge of pain from just glancing at this header but I speak the truth on this one. I used to be a person who gave her mornings to coffee and the New York Times only. However, getting into the gym in the A.M. has changed my life completely. Sure, it is insanely hard to lure yourself out of bed when the sun hasn’t even woken up yet but once you finish then you are done for the day. Enter feelings of accomplishment and pats on the back. As it begins to get darker earlier, the motivation to hit the treadmill after work will start to slide. Avoid the issue altogether by setting your alarm an hour earlier and signing on to greet the sun when she wakes.

6) Allow fitness to save you from being a Scrooge: You really need to ask yourself the question, why do I work out? Not only is it good for you and your body, but it also a definite mood booster. I cannot stress how important this is from October onward. With less sunshine, it is no surprise that people often feel lonelier and more depressed during the winter months. Beat the blues by breaking a sweat. Instead of pressing the snooze button on the alarm a few more times, imagine how much more energy you will get from the day when you lift some weights or hit the bike before work.

7) The season is changing, why not your work out?: Let’s face it, the elliptical gets old after a few months. Why not switch up your workout routine? Try out that dance class you have been eyeing, sign up for a session of hot yoga class. Introducing new forms of fitness into your routine will keep you motivated and passionate about your fitness goals. Google is a definite God send for finding fitness classes in the area that will burn up those calories and keep you from burning out this season.

I also would like to make a shout out for a dear blogger friend of mine, and an extremely talented writer. Giulietta Nardone is offering a phenomenal online writing course for all you wannabe writers and experienced gurus of the pen out there. Secrets of Personal Essay Writing is a five-week writing journey that you won’t want to miss. I urge you to check out Giulietta’s site, especially if you are looking to bring your own inner workings to the page.


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18 thoughts on “When the weather outside gets frightful: Seven tips to keep fitness and nutrition as top priorities this season.

  1. Hi Hannah, long time no see…been a crazy summer, but with fall in focus, I’m getting back to writing, blogging and preparing for winter preparations.

    I love this post. Over the course of the summer I took up running and biking again. And with the winter months looming I’m already thinking what I’ll do since I’ll be indoors more. I tend to lean toward dance, palates, and a super old ab video that I’ve used since I had my first baby 12 years ago. (I figure it must be working, because after 3 kids and 12 years, I’ve only gone up one pant size.)

    Mostly, I exercise because I feel better. One thing I remind myself of over the holidays is that I don’t have to eat it all in one sitting. (We have numerous gatherings, so I tell myself I don’t have to have the seasons fill at just one). I also find it helps to take very small portions because there are usually tables and tables of food. And then limit myself to one ‘full’ dinner plate and one small desert plate.

    Last year I lost 3 lbs around the holidays without even thinking about it.

    Anyway, glad to be back and I loved your post.

  2. Hi Hannah,

    Wonderful exercise and eating tips, especially #4: Made With Love.

    Never though of making my food choices based on this criteria. Now I will. That way I fill myself up with love at every meal. And I can cook with love, too. (What a cafe tagline that would be.)


    My husband created a mini-disco in our laundry room for me. Winter is a great time to dance the night away (and fold towels at the same time.)

    Thanks for mentioned my personal essay writing class. I teach it with “love.”


  3. Randomly, I am the polar opposite of most people—I tend to LOSE weight in the fall/winter! I think that’s largely because it’s my favorite time of year, and I’m happier, and I practice hot yoga, which is much more enticing when it’s 35 degrees rather than 105 degrees outside.

    But, you make great points here, Hannah. I totally agree with you about making yourself a morning person. It’s tough, but I love getting my yoga out of the way, so to speak, first thing because then I feel good the whole rest of the day.

  4. Great post! I really do love your health & fitness posts because I learn so much from you!! I know I tend to eat a LOT more in the fall/winter because of all the holidays and goodies to eat and bake!

  5. It’s interesting how different we see the Seasons.

    I see Fall as the most magical time of the year. It it the cool down, the breath of fresh air, after the long hot summer. Not only does my body feel great, my mind feels awakened. I can see and think clearer. The feelings of excitement and joy are rekindled, and I am refreshed with a drive and spirits that pulls me all the way through the holidays. Indeed, there is a big difference in the seasons to me. Once that warmth comes back around, and the pollen hits, suddenly everything becomes fuzzy to me. I can’t think as clear, and I don’t know what I was thinking about 5 minutes before. If the doctor told me I had seasonal affect disorder, I wouldn’t feel surprised–I would feel vindicated.

    I. Love. Fall.

    1. I always love reading your comments. The passion jumps right off the page, I swear.. Very interesting.. My mood shoots down in the winter months. So I take a lot of vitamin B!

  6. I’m jealous that you work out in the mornings. I know I can do it but I’m a completely different person in the mornings and always talk myself into sleeping some more. I wish my husband didn’t have to go to work until later so we can work out together.

    and yess, I love fall! I’m looking forward to it and the holidays coming up too.

  7. I LOVE the rule about “is the love there.” that will definitely change my perspective on a lot of treats. fabulous call, my dear.

    Thanks for that bit of advice as I really will use it.

  8. I try and make myself a morning person, but it’s so difficult sometimes, especially when you live in a cold and dark climate like me (Scotland)! That being said, the mornings that I do get up early and have an early morning cycle ride I feel so much better for it!

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