"Let's do it. Let's shed the pounds off for the summer."
It's a conversation I hear in the spring on the subway, at dinner parties or at work facilities. Invariably, late spring is a time when everyone seems excited about trying to achieve the perfect beach body.
Now, as we approach fall, the barbecue season has taken its toll, and some of our fat tissue is around our waists again. And with the holidays not that far away, the forecast is looking pretty grim for our earlier body aspirations.
But why not continue what you have started? Why let it go again, just because you are soon going to be hiding in winter clothes once more?
It turns out there are many reasons to keep motivated as the colder months approach.
Think about it: How did you feel after a great run, gym class or lifting weights? Wasn't your mood lifted, and didn't you feel as if you could conquer any problem?
Today's environment presents us with constant hassles; it's a fight to move forward. So staying ahead of the curve to be in a good mood goes a long way toward tackling the problems that are thrown at you.
And what could be better for your mood than exercise? Not only can it be fun, but exercise releases serotonin as well -- a simple and easy way to receive a healthy dose of natural antidepressants.
This is especially important for those who experience a condition known as seasonal-affective disorder, or SAD. Studies have shows that for these people, the shorter hours of daylight can actually lead to depression. So an extra daily boost of happy hormones could be just what those people need to get over the fall and winter doldrums.
And remember, you don't need to pay for these antidepressants; your body produces them for free! It doesn't get any better then this.
Oh my, you want to enjoy eating. Have you thought about what happens when the cookie season approaches?
Many of us just let loose when presented with this temptation. Fair enough, enjoy them. But keep in mind that if you want to eat more, you need to exercise more. If not, you need to take a serious look at your calorie intake.
Most likely, the kind of food you'll be eating in the fall contains higher levels of carbohydrates -- think of those squashes, potatoes and stews. Many of these high-calorie dishes are also prepared with more fat to comfort ourselves when it gets cold again.
Ok, yes, we need to keep warm -- but that's why we have clothing, right? Counteract the potential weight gain by keeping going on what you have started over the summer. Then just enjoy what you want to eat from time to time.
Summer is a great time for being active outdoors. But why not in the winter as well? Winter sports offer some great ways to improve your balance, strength and flexibility, all while keeping you active.
Standing for at least five hours on the snowboard or skis requires endurance, strength and balance. Train for it now. The sooner you tackle these challenges, the more you will enjoy these activities in the winter.
Keeping active through the cold may also keep you well. Research has shown that our immune systems are also stimulated through physical exercise -- a good thing to remember if you hope to stay well through the winter.