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7 Reasons Fall Is A Great Time to Jumpstart Your Weight-Loss Goals
Basic fact: It’s hard tonotlove fall. There's the crisp, fresh air, the excitement of new beginnings, the pumpkin everything...you get the idea. But aside from pumpkin latte-induced giddiness, there's a whole separate reason to love the season: It's a perfect time to get your butt in gear and start achieving your weight-loss goals. We asked Elle Penner, R.D. for MyFitnessPal and author of the healthy lifestyle blog According to Elle, for specific reasons why it's so great. Read on for someseriousfallspiration.
Cooler Weather is Great for Running
Seriously, could therebea more perfect time to go for a run outside? You don't have to bundle up in your Polar Vortex gear just yet, and you also don't have to carry a life preserver in case you drown in a pool of sweat (kidding...kind of). In other words, fall weather is the Goldilocks of outdoor exercise temperatures. "Plus, if the leaves change colors where you are, hiking, nature walking, and raking leaves are great ways to take in the fall foliage and be active," says Penner.
There's Tons Of Delicious Fall Produce
Take a minute to really think about all of the roasted veggie recipes you can whip up. There are so many, and they're allso good. "Fall fruits and vegetables are at their peak flavor right now, so it's a great time to rekindle your love for them," says Penner. "Try adding fresh apples to a fall salad, or pumpkin to smoothies. Squash, sweet potatoes, and turnips also work really well in hearty soups and stews."
MORE:7 Delicious Fall Foods That Are Great for Weight Loss
...And It's Also Slow Cooker Season
Allow us to praise one of the most underrated cooking appliances around: These things are amazing. "When it comes to easy, affordable, and healthy meals, slow cookers are king," says Penner. "Take advantage of the influx of slow cooker recipes on social media sites like Pinterest. Making one or two slow cooker dishes a week will guarantee that you have some healthy dinners and lunch leftovers." It'll also guarantee that your place smellsphenomenalwhen you get home.
It's Easier to Get Back Into A Routine
Summer isn't exactly a structured time. What with beach vacations, long weekends, loads of backyard cookouts, and weddings galore, you're probably bopping all over the place—so it's hard to stick to a specific workout or exercise plan. But fall is a whole different story. "Now that summer vacation is over, your weekly routine has more structure," says Penner. "And routines are key when it comes to forming long-lasting healthy habits, like making time for meal planning and physical activity." We didn't think we'd ever say it, but at least that'soneperk to your vacation being over.
Race Season Is Officially Here
Look out the window, and what do you see? Oh, you know, onlytonsof runners training for all sorts of races—marathons, half marathons, 10-Ks, turkey trots, you name it. "Signing up for a fall race with a couple of friends can be a great motivator to get moving more regularly," says Penner. Ready, set, go!
Your Gym's Not As Packed
Not an outdoor runner? No worries—the gym is your friend here, too. That's because so many people are exercising outside that the gym is way less crowded. "That means you can get in and out in no time and not have to fight for space in group exercise classes," says Penner. "It's also a great opportunity to meet new workout buddies and become friendly with the staff, both of which will help you stay motivated to keep showing up."
You Can Prepare for Those Extra Holiday Pounds
Call it a pre-emptive strike: Unless you are inhuman, you will likely end up eating your fair share of sugary seasonal treats (oh hey, gingerbread men). And knowing this, you can get extra-fit in the fall so that by the time winter rolls around, you’ll be in such good shape that you will be better able to handle the temptation of all those pies and cookies. "Having a couple months of eating well and exercising under your belt will make it easier to stick with these healthier habits through the holidays," says Penner. Plus, that way, you won't start the new year with new pounds.
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