5 Ways to Fall into Fitness
Fall Fitness Challenge Ideas
Fall is here!
Bringing cooler temperatures and the kids back to school, autumn can be one of the best times to revamp your fitness routine.
But where should you begin?
To help you kick off the new season and jumpstart your fitness results, I’m sharing five ways to “fall into fitness:” five action steps you can take to make getting into a healthier routine almost as easy as falling (if you’re clumsy like me), but more fun (you will feel better after trying these ideas than you would after taking a literal fall).
1. Find a 5K
What’s a 5K?
If you’re new to running and/or live in the United States where we rarely use the metric system, you might be wondering what a 5K is. A 5K is a race on foot that’s 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) in distance.
Translation: A 5K is the perfect road race length for runners of any fitness level!
This is especially true during the fall, when most locations cool off and have perfect running weather.
New runners can set out to use their first 5K race as a way to get a baseline time for the distance. There’s also (usually) no shame in walking most of the race.
You should check your race’s signup page to see if there is a time limit on finishing. Even if there is a time limit, most road races now offer the option to start the race earlier than the main crowd. If you choose this option, you will need to time yourself and you won’t be eligible to earn a spot on the podium. However, this or a virtual version of the race could be a great fit if you want the motivation of a race without the stress of meeting a time goal.
If you’re just getting started as a runner or feel uneasy about getting into running because it’s felt too hard in the past, take heart! I’ve been running since 7th grade or…let’s NOT count how many years ago that was!!!…and while I’ve now run several marathons, I couldn’t even make it around the block without taking a break my first time.
Runners aren’t born runners. It takes time to build endurance and a love of running.
You can expect it to take at least 6 weeks to see any real gains in your cardiovascular fitness. Knowing this, go easy on yourself as you work into your running routine.
How to ease into 5K Training:
- Try run/walk intervals (i.e. run for 1 minute and then walk for 1 minute)
- Plan to train for your 5K by running as many days as possible, but realize you don’t need to run every day.
- Break your goal to complete 3.1 miles down into a smaller one, like running for 3 minutes or running for 1 mile without stopping
Ready to take on this fitness challenge?
The Active.com website and THIS page can help you find 5K events are happening in your area.
One that is a bit longer than 5K (at 4 miles, this race is more like 6.5 kilometers in length), but super cool and walker friendly is the Pell Bridge Run. It happens every October and is the only way you can be a pedestrian on the Newport Bridge in Newport, Rhode Island (where Fit Armadillo is currently headquartered!).
Are you a 5K veteran?
Take your running to the next level!
Hire a coach to support you in your 5K or longer distance event. Sharing your past 5K race results with your running coach, will help him/her create a more accurate training plan.
Looking for a good running coach?
They can be a dime a dozen online, but not all coaches are created equal!
Be sure yours is a certified fitness professional who has taken a science-based running coaching certification program. My favorite is the REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ Coaching program.
Created by best-selling author Dr. Jason Karp, this course shares research-backed knowledge with the running coaches who take it.
Not a runner, but love science and running?
I’m a Master Trainer for the course and will be teaching it in person in Newport, Rhode Island this November. You can join for half the cost if you aren’t using the course to renew your fitness professional license.
Get the details and save your spot HERE.
2. Forget the Scale
Labor Day is seen by many as the end of summer.
At my fitness company, it is also the sign that my most popular fitness challenge, the Drop 2 Sizes Challenge is one week away. This ten week home gym friendly exercise program promises that participants will finish the experience two clothing sizes smaller than they were when they started.
What’s the secret?
Well, there are a few (learn more about them on the sign up page HERE), but one of the biggest secrets can best be summarized by thinking about your favorite mobster movie: forget about it!
“It” being the scale.
I’ve been a certified personal trainer since 2007 and while scales have always been a key item in the gyms I’ve worked in, they have also caused many gym members to derail their hardest efforts.
Even though data is important, the number you read on a scale is a lot like what Mark Twain had to say about statistics – it can be a lie! If the scale goes up, it doesn’t mean you are gaining real weight or that many pounds of fat. Your bodyweight can increase for many other reasons. The number on the scale can go up due to you eating more salt, hormonal changes, a lack of sleep and many other factors.
If you’ve been working hard in the gym only to see the scale go in the wrong direction, you can feel more than defeated and overwhelmed and give up on trying to lose weight and reach your goals the healthy way.
My advice to my Drop 2 Sizes Challenge participants and to you, dear reader?
Forget about it (the scale!).
Instead, focus on how your clothes fit and take measurements.
If this makes you nervous and you’d like to record some data each day, you can track what you eat (especially fruits and veggies), how much water you drink, how much exercise you enjoy, and how many hours of sleep you get.
But don’t take my word for it!
Try this tip out for yourself. In 8-10 weeks you could be getting ready to pounce on a Black Friday deal for a new two sizes smaller little black dress to rock as you get ready to ring in 2022.
3. Focus on 15
What will you think about if you are forgetting about the scale? Fifteen, of course!
Not the freshman 15 or quarantine 15, but the “fun 15” (what our favorite author and Ted Talker calls it): 15 Minutes of Fitness!
When I was asked to share a habit for the now best-selling book, 1 Habit for Women Action Takers, “Focus on 15” was the heading of my chapter for a reason.
Incorporating as little as fifteen minutes of movement each day will greatly improve your overall health and well-being. Moving for 15 minutes can be a great way to start a fitness routine. However, the benefits don’t end there. If you’re having trouble focusing on your work, a 15 minute walk can help you come back to your desk feeling refreshed and often having a more creative idea. You can improve both your physical and mental health with this small time commitment.
Need an accountability buddy or two?
Head over to your favorite podcasting site and look for my podcast show, The Fit Fifteen. Episodes are timed to help you get moving for 15 minutes. While some are longer than 15 minutes in length, each episode has prompts to help you complete an out and back walk (or jog/run when you’re ready!). Tune in and get moving for 7.5 minutes and listen for a sound clip that will cue you to around and head back to your starting line, if you’re short on time.
4. Figure Out How to Train Smarter
Not new to fitness? Use the fall season to refresh your current routine and train smarter, versus harder.
One way that female runners can do this is by learning about what makes women runners unique and how their training should be different than that of their male counterparts.
In less than one week, my running mentor and best-selling author, Dr. Jason Karp will be hosting a free webinar on women’s running.
Save your spot for the free webinar HERE.
In November, I’ll also be teaching Jason’s REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ Coaching Certification program in Newport, RI at Renaissance Fitness.
This 1-day course is open to fitness professionals and running athletes looking to improve their results on the race course.
5. Follow a Leader
Taking a running course like REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ or hiring a coach are two great ways to follow a leader to get fitness results this fall, but what if you’re on a budget or not super motivated to get to a gym?
Follow some superwomen instead!
My best-selling book, Superwomen Secrets Revealed, shares the stories of how and why successful women fit fitness into their daily routines.
It’s a great read if you want to be inspired to find your “why” or reason for scheduling exercise.
With the release of the paperback edition of the book, I added a downloadable worksheet to help you accept some of the fitness challenges that were posed as dares by the superwomen.
Check it out HERE>>
Report back on your results by tagging me @FitArmadillo and the superwoman whose fitness dare you accept when you share your process on social media.
Now that you’ve read my fitness challenge ideas…
How will you fall into fitness this fall?
I’d love to hear which of these 5 fitness challenge ideas you will try or about one of your own ideas that I didn’t mention yet.
Share your thoughts in the comments: