Do you find yourself getting sad as the colder days and early dark nights of the fall months start to settle in? If that sounds like you, beat the post summer blues by increasing your commitment to living a more active lifestyle.
Performing structured daily exercises can help you perform at your best in both physical and non-physical tasks, because the benefits of exercising go far beyond the physical. Physical activity promotes the release of endorphins, such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These hormones are your body’s natural happy hormones, so their increased release can give you an emotional boost and makes you feel happier and more productive. As the summer ends and the winter approaches, it’s important to find ways to enhance you mood, and I believe there is no better answer than ramping up your physical activity routine.
Exercising regularly can greatly enhance your emotional sense of wellbeing and positively impact your overall mental health. The number of brain related benefits associated with exercising regularly are vast and include improved brain structure, improved brain function, improved cognition, enhanced memory, and an improved ability to cope with stress.
“Right now is a perfect time to get more active”
The fall months signal the upcoming stress of the holidays, and quite often the holiday season includes a lot of unhealthy eating. This increased stress, in combination with access to more unhealthy foods, can lead to weight gain and make losing weight more difficult. Finding time for activity is especially important during this time of year. Ramping up your exercise routine during periods of stress will allow you to regroup, focus on yourself and kick-start your results.
Here are five ways you can ramp up your exercise routine.
Increase your exercise time: Spend an extra few minutes at the gym to ensure you are doing a complete and challenging routine. Allowing yourself an extra 10-20 minutes for your workout will make you feel less rushed and give you the opportunity to complete a more thorough and balanced workout. Making time to complete a session that has a suitable dynamic warm-up and a post-workout stretch is a great way to perfect your personal routine.
Train with a friend: Make your gym time a little more fun and social for a few weeks and train with a friend or join a group. It’s easier to stay motivated when you have a friend by your side to push you through.
Get outside: The temperatures at this time of year may be dropping, but if you dress appropriately you can enjoy the crisp, cool air, and a change of scenery may boost your mood.
Mix up your routine: Try a new mode of exercise to give yourself a challenge, taking a class or following an online routine is a great way to infuse some energy into your workout.
Up the intensity level: If you feel capable, push yourself a little harder in your workout, increase your weights or add a few extra reps. Trying a HIIT style session will decrease your time spent at the gym without negatively impacting your results. In fact, HIIT style training can boost your fitness level.
Make your personal mental and emotional health a priority and stay committed to living a healthy and active lifestyle regardless of the season.
By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness
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