Jogging Autumn

Seven Tactics to Help You Maintain Your Summer Body This Fall

Now that swimsuit season and sky-high summer temperatures are behind us, you may be tempted to tone down the ambitious fitness and nutrition regimen you’ve followed all summer. 

After all, you tell yourself, nobody will be able to see what’s underneath your fall + winter layers, right? Sure, there are plenty of excuses to choose from—and you’re certainly not the only person who’s considering taking a break from the gym. But Warren Honeycutt says that while the shorts, swimsuits, and sundresses may be packed away for the year, you shouldn’t stop striving for good health. “A lot of people go into ‘hibernation mode’ when the leaves begin to fall and the weather gets cooler,” says Honeycutt, author of Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss .”

But no matter what time of year it is or how many layers you’re wearing, there are always countless benefits to practicing positive wellness habits: more energy during the day, better sleep at night, improved mood, a stronger immune system (perfect for fighting off common cold-weather sicknesses!), and much more. Why slow down just because you won’t be lounging by the poolside for a while?

Here, Honeycutt shares seven ways to stay in summer shape year-round:

Enjoy some autumnal activities.  Switch up your workout regimen and take advantage of cooler temperatures and beautiful autumn landscapes via hiking, biking, or canoeing. There are plenty of outdoor activities that only improve with the change in scenery, so finding an enjoyable way to get some outdoor exercise in the fall should be no trouble. Even seasonal landscaping and leaf-raking counts if it gets your heart rate up!

Motivate yourself with some brand-new gear.  Treat yourself to some cooler-weather workout gear: a new pair of jogging leggings with a fun pattern or a brightly colored windbreaker. Your new threads will help you get excited about breaking a sweat. “Pick out clothing that wicks away moisture as you exercise,” Honeycutt recommends. “It prevents chills from cold air as you sweat, leaving you warmer and drier during your outdoor workouts.”

Put some seasonal produce on your plate.  Sure, the growing season for a lot of fruits and veggies is over, but there’s still a lot to be found at the farmer’s market! Butternut and acorn squash, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, turnips, and more may well be in season where you live. “Best of all, there are hundreds of delicious, healthy seasonal recipes you can try out with the produce options available in the fall,” Honeycutt points out.

Go back to school.  Your kids are hitting the books once again—why shouldn’t you? Fall is a perfect time of year for you to sign up for a new fitness or cooking class. “This is a fun and productive way to take advantage of the time spent indoors during the fall and winter,” Honeycutt notes. “Plus, a regularly scheduled class will help you stay motivated. By the time spring comes again, you’ll have gained some handy new skills!”