Back To School

By Doug Nelson
Community Center Manager

The transition to autumn weather usually brings a reduction in outdoor recreation. Do you plan to hibernate for the winter like so many others? Don’t let the gray skies and misty air derail your fitness routine. I suggest embracing this “Back to School” time of year; and trying out a new fitness routine, exercise class, meal plan….or all of the above. It is completely understandable if you fall into the same trap that many Americans do. “The days are getting shorter, it’s dark when I wake up, it’s dark when I get home from work, it’s cold, windy and rainy, it’s football season, we have guests at the house”….. excuses, excuses, I’ve heard them all!

Going “Back to School” means you will embrace the new season as an opportunity to learn new things, take on exciting challenges, and set goals for improved health and fitness. Indoor fitness facilities are your best friend when it comes to beating the weather. Indoor facilities offer a plethora of fitness classes to keep you moving as you transition away from your outdoor workouts. Don’t just show up at the gym and hope for the best. Get out their fitness schedule, circle 3 – 4 classes that look appealing, and show up ready for action. Remember to take the “try before you buy” approach when selecting a new class or fitness center. Most gyms offer a trial membership or visitation pass that lets you sample before you commit. When selecting a facility that best meets your needs, base your decision on the quality of the instructors, staff and overall environment. Don’t worry about the bells and whistles and all that shiny new equipment. Every gym has that. You want a facility that makes you feel comfortable, with members and staffs that are welcoming and friendly.

Now that you’ve picked a gym, prescribe to these methods:

  1. Find a brand new class or fitness trend. It’s easy to fall into the same old routine, but you and your body are craving something new. HIIT, yoga, Pilates, barre, boot camp, TRX are examples of fitness trends that will challenge you, and promote change.
  2. A great group exercise class, with great instructors, creates an encouraging environment and takes the guess-work out – by providing a professionally-designed workout. All you have to do is show up and follow orders.
  3. You should always pick a workout partner, small group, or class to work out with. Going it on your own rarely works. You are making a commitment, and you need other people to hold you accountable.

Last, but not least:

Despite what I said about the dreary fall weather, there can actually be some pretty nice surprises. Cool, crisp mornings can sometimes lead to beautiful sunny days. When this happens, drop everything you are doing and get outside. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, a brisk walk or jog will do you wonders, and the Vitamin D won’t hurt either!