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by Blair Norfolk |

The days are getting shorter and there’s a hint of cool crispness in the early morning air. As summer dwindles, you may be feeling that your workout routine, designed for hot summer days, is winding down as well.

As the temperature turns chilly, it’s tempting to hide away with a blanket and bowl of carbs. But maintaining activity levels is key to hanging on to the progress you’ve already made toward your health goals.

We’ve done a bit of brainstorming and research to help you find and maintain your autumn motivation. We think these tips will help you kick-start a healthy, happy, successful season!

Seasons as a goal schedule

The beginning of a new season is the perfect time to set a three-month goal timeline. Start with an end goal – a target you want to achieve by the last day of autumn. Then break it down into three monthly milestones and even further into fortnightly milestones. Suddenly, you have a strategy in place and a logical timeline to follow!

Adapt your diet

You were probably all over the salads and fresh fruit during the summer, but you may find your cravings shift with the onset of Autumn. Researchers at the University of Georgia studied how much people ate during each season and their findings suggested that people consume about 200 calories more each day from early fall through winter. They also found that their study subjects preferred “heavier” foods (higher in carbohydrates) as the days grew darker. So, if you find yourself feeling hungrier, give your body what it needs. It’s not a licence to binge on pasta three times a day, but meeting your body’s seasonal dietary needs will help you maintain your energy and keep going with your workout routine.

Experiment with training style

The workout you enjoyed during the summer might not feel right for autumn. Variety in your training is a long-term key to consistent motivation and results, so why not time a new approach with the turning season? If you train outside, autumn weather is a far more forgiving for HIIT and other high intensity workouts. But as always, be sure to check with your doctor or a pro before beginning a new workout routine and always start with what you can handle at your current fitness level and work up to your target intensity!

Fat cells and sunlight

In January 2018, researchers at the University of Alberta reported results showing that the fat cells that lie just beneath our skin shrink when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun. They stressed that the phenomenon should not be taken as a prompt to overexpose yourself to sun rays to lose weight; instead, it should be taken as yet another reason to get outside and get enough sunshine. During Autumn, the sun still shines and the lower temperatures make it much more enjoyable to spend time outside than the thick of summer!