As the sun starts to set much earlier, and the air gets colder, your options for outdoor exercise become limited. If you live in an area with the true four seasons, then soon enough, you won’t be able to go for a morning jog without worrying about slipping on icy ground. For most, the change of seasons means a change in workout setting, aka going back to the gym. The gym can be a mundane, soul-crushing place where you feel like all you see is gray walls and miserable faces, all you hear is the painfully repetitive sound of the pounding elliptical machine, and all you smell is sterilizing wipes mixed with sweat. And, honestly, in the fall when people often suffer from some degree of depression because of the changing seasons, you don’t need that. But the gym can also be your sanctuary from the dreary weather, and your bright place during darker evenings…if you know what to do. Here are 15 ways to enjoy the gym more this fall.
INVEST IN THE PARKING
Admit it; the first thing you think when contemplating going to the gym is, “I don’t want to circle to find street parking, and then walk in the cold weather to the gym, carrying all of my gear!” For goodness sake, just buy a three-month parking pass in the gym lot. It could be the reason you actually go to the gym.
LEAVE TIME FOR THE SAUNA
Fall is the best time for the sauna. It can be the first thing you hit when you walk in the gym, offering a delicious way to warm up after being in the cold weather. It can also be your treat at the end, warming up your bones before you head back outside.
TRY A FEW PERSONAL TRAINER SESSIONS
A great way to beat seasonal depression is to mix up your routine. And a great way to do that is by challenging yourself. Even buying just five sessions with a personal trainer will give you something to focus on and look forward to each week.
CLIMB THE WALL
You know–that weird thing with the mounds of colored clay on it that you usually ignore? Climb it! It’s really fun, and it makes you use muscles you wouldn’t normally use. Getting to the top is just the sense of invigoration you need during the dull fall months.
PUT ON THE COOKING CHANNEL
There’s something about cooking in the fall. That’s probably why the shows on the Food Network are best this time of year. So ask the gym staff to set the TV by your machine to the cooking channel and get inspired to make some roasts and cider.
DO ONE BRISK JOG OUTSIDE IN BETWEEN
Immediately after an intense workout might be the only time this fall or winter when you can enjoy going outside without a jacket. It’s a very special feeling; the air is cold, but you’re so hot on the inside from your exercise that you don’t care.
LISTEN TO A CLASSIC BOOK ON TAPE
The fall makes you crave those old classic books you read in college like the original Frankenstein or any Jane Austen novel. Get these on tape and enjoy them at the gym.
JOIN A NEW CLASS
Remember what we said about switching up your routine? Take a look at the classes offered at your gym. This is a great time of year to do some yoga because it gives you a chance to meditate, reflect on the year, and think about what you’d like to do in the upcoming one.
TREAT YOURSELF AFTER
Going to the gym when it gets cold out is just harder to do than in the nice summer months! So you should get a treat for doing it. Whether that’s a pumpkin latte or a pumpkin martini, you should treat yourself for going.
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