It takes about 30 days for your body to adapt to a new lifestyle change. In other words, after working out consistently for about a month, your body really starts to feel it as something habitual. It just so happens, I believe, that one month is about the time it takes for us to see real change in our bodies from working out (either from starting up from nothing, or changing up the routine.) Why is that important to know? Because this is the best time of year to make a change and stick with it.
So many of us think of January 1st. as the start of new resolutions, however, the following are six reasons I think the fall is the best time to begin fitness resolutions.
1. The Weather It is cooler and less humid in late October, and therefore perfect conditions for running and exercising outdoors. We sweat less and typically also fatigue slower, due to these changes in the weather. This makes it an ideal time to push ourselves a little harder and not worry so much about the heat index or dehydration, etc.
2. Just in time for the holidays This week is about one month before Thanksgiving. This is great timing if we think about it. Since, as I mentioned above, it takes about 30 days for our bodies to really recognize a change as real and habitual, then if we start now, right at the big Turkey Day we will be well into our new routine and less likely to stop doing it at that point. One day of feasting will not hurt us and will not be cause for us to slow down our new routine. It can also set the stage for good fitness going in to the Christmas “feasting” season too. We should also begin to see some changes then, if we start now, and that can be very motivating. We can go into the winter months ready to continue our routines rather than feeling sluggish and stuck on a couch.
3. For most of us its the real start of the new year September and October are more likely to be times that we are making changes anyway. An end to summer and the new school year marks the beginning of the “year” for most of us anyway and we are already into a new routine with our kids. It feels more natural to turn over a new leaf now (and watch the old ones fall…pun intended).
4. Its better to be preventative than reactive So many of us, when going into January dread the new year for the resolutions that we feel we should make. What makes January such a big deal anyway (other than a new calendar year)? I think with the obvious change in weather outside, there is a natural prompting for a change within. I think seasons can do this for us. Going into the colder months prepared and ready to stick with a fitness plan is much better I think than going into January (after the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasting) and try to make a big change.
5. No bugs! I don’t know if it is because I am so sweet, but bugs love me. They usually don’t bite as we run, but the mosquitoes are lurking all throughout the summer, waiting for sweaty me to finish a run and come in for the kill. There is something about the heavy humidity and the buggy weather that can really weigh on me, especially in August and September when I have had enough of them! On the other hand, there is nothing like a crisp fall sunny day for getting out to run and workout…bug free!
6. It’s beautiful! Fall in Charlotte, North Carolina is amazingly beautiful. The leaves are golden, red, yellow and brown and the sky is typical Carolina blue. No question, it’s the prettiest time of year to run outside…at least that is my humble opinion!
Autumn is my favorite season for all of the reasons above, and it makes perfect sense to me that it would be the best time to begin a new exercise program or rejuvinate an old one. Is fall your favorite time of year to make new fitness resolutions? Why or why not?