By Justin Hanes
With changing leaf colors and the return of our favorite fall drinks, the summer months are rapidly coming to an end. The days of spending time at the lake, eating hamburgers (or lettuce wraps) and roasting marshmallows will soon be replaced with homework, shorter days and the pesky routine. Are you ready for what is next? Getting back into a schedule has always been a challenge for me, but this year will be easy-peasy with the extended summer days.
The hardest part about getting into the fall groove is finding an exercise routine. Adding workouts to my already crazy schedule is difficult. What I’ve found to be most helpful over the years, however, is to expect challenges that you might not have thought about. Expecting my body to run 40 miles a week is simply not realistic, and to be honest, it won’t happen. This is my favorite season to cross-train with various rigorous runs and activities like swimming, cycling and hiking. Doing things that make you happy, while slowly adding difficult exercise into the plan will really encourage your body to push forward in the chaos of fall. And if you miss a day or two, it’s not the end of the world- I promise.
While the Eugene Marathon isn’t until the end of April, I always find motivation in training for local community races, much like EWEB’s Run to Stay Warm, which offers a beautiful kids race, 5k,10k, and a half-marathon along the Willamette River. Races like this encourage your body to get better, be better and stay better throughout the year. These don’t have to be difficult, long or challenging; they should be fun, enlightening and exciting. Running with a friend, setting a PR or raising money for a cause are all great reasons to stay motivated and participate in the community. What race will you be a part of?
Perhaps my favorite thing about the return of a fall routine is the opportunity to spend time with family, friends and loved ones. Autumn is a great time to get outdoors and exercise with special people. Have someone that doesn’t like to run marathons? No problem! Go for a walk, find a hot spring or explore the Pacific Crest Trail. Exercising with others pushes you to stick to a plan. It keeps you accountable. And most importantly, it helps you build and grow relationships while engaging in such a healthy lifestyle.
Tis’ the season for new routines, accomplishments, friendships and opportunities. Don’t let that pesky workout routine stop you from doing just that.