While it’s true that January may be the most popular time to start a new fitness routine that doesn’t mean it’s the most ideal time. In fact, the best time to start your new workout routine is actually the fall – in particular, September.
First things first, if you’re ready to begin working out, why wait? The best time to start is now, especially if you’re ready. Another reason why you shouldn’t wait is that research has found that approximately 66% of people who start a new workout routine in the new year quit within a month!
Still not convinced? Here’s even more reasons why the fall is the best time to start a new workout routine:
Pretty much anywhere you live, the weather in September is still warm and comfortable enough to be outside with minimal to no extra layers needed. This means working out outside is still an option for those who want to take up running, cycling, or other outside activity. The slightly cooler weather is also ideal for those who don’t enjoy the hot summer months making it ideal for workouts like hiking or even in-line skating.
After the summer holidays, people are back into the routine of school, work, spending less time outside, at the beach and on vacation. Because of this natural shift, this actually makes it easier for people to create a fitness routine that works with their schedule.
The summer is filled with tons of opportunities to indulge in BBQs, ice cream, and other delicious summer treats. Many people attend social events every weekend and may elect to spend their time at the beach relaxing rather than working out. Since the fall is likely a less busy time, it’s a great opportunity to create a new routine and get focused on your health and fitness goals.
Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, beginning a new fitness routine in September gives you at least 3 months to develop a new habit and shed some weight before the holidays roll around. Between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years alone there are tons of opportunities to overindulge and skip your workout. By getting into the habit of working out regularly before the holidays arrive, you’ll be more likely to make better food decisions, less likely to skip working out, and feel far less guilty when you eat that extra cookie or two!
If you start exercising in the fall, you will develop and fall into good habits that will stick around. Even though December may be a little rough and you may not stick to your workout routine, you’ll have a much easier time getting back into your fitness routine come January. Now, when January comes, you will have already set yourself a solid foundation to continue from.
The best way to enjoy working out in the fall is to exercise outdoors. This, of course, can become a bit difficult as it is getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in the morning. What time means is you simply need to plan ahead. If you want to workout at a time when it’s dim or even dark just take precautions like wearing reflective clothing or vest or carrying a flashlight. It’s also a good idea to affix lights to your helmet or bike if you are cycling. Whenever possible, try to avoid running or cycling on roads since traffic tends to be heavier when school is in session.
When exercising outside in cool weather it’s a good idea to layer your clothing. Before your body has warmed up fully, you may feel cold, but once your blood gets pumping, you’ll likely feel warm or hot and need to shed some layers.
We recommend dressing in three layers – your innermost layer should be something that is made of moisture-wicking fabric, the next layer should be a warmth layer like a t-shirt or sweatshirt depending on the temperature, while the outer layer should be a protective layer especially on days it’s rainy.