by Sara Bresnick, PT
Sad to say, the summer is coming to an end. Fall is a great time to be outside, but daylight is starting to noticeably dwindle. I find that this is a time when many of my clients are having difficulty with motivation. It is getting cooler, and darker, and people start to have trouble fitting their workouts in their schedule.
For people who work a typical 9-5 schedule, the summer months are great. It is warm outside and there is ample light. With such optimal conditions, it is not hard to motivate to go exercise either before work or after work. As fall approaches, however, daylight is hard to come by and cooler temperatures suck motivation to go outdoors.
I find there are a few ways to remedy these issues and keep motivation and exercise going as the seasons change. First, is it possible to exercise during your lunch break? I always see if people can start work 30 min earlier, or end work 30 min later, thereby extending their lunch break. This way you can take advantage of daylight hours as well as the warmest part of the day for your exercise.
If this isn’t possible, I see if people are willing to exercise with a light. Either running with a headlamp or cycling with lights on the bicycle. That way you are able to get outside either in the am or pm if it isn’t quite light yet. I also make sure people have the correct gear as the temperatures start to plummet. There is nothing worse than freezing during your run, walk, or bike ride.
If exercising outdoors isn’t an option, then inside it is. Either join a gym (close to your house or work), or set up equipment at the house. Make the spot you exercise easy to get to and as enjoyable as possible. You can set up music, or television. Whatever works best.
In summary, don’t let all that fitness you gained over the summer dwindle as the fall and winter approach. At least maintain what you have so that when spring comes again, you aren’t starting from scratch.
Sara Bresnick is a Physical Therapist at Boston Sports Medicine