I really enjoyed your recent post about turning around bad summer habits. I am interested to know your thoughts on how to keep up the momentum on some good habits when summer turns to fall (and then winter).

After getting a much-needed reality check on the scale at the beginning of the summer, I amped up my exercise time. My summer routine has included swimming three times a week (changing up the workout each week to keep it challenging), golf 2-4 times a week (walking the course 90% of the time), and a weekly Zumba class.

I'm not as worried about keeping up with the swimming and the Zumba class, but I'm looking for some way to replace some of the golf, particularly the midweek twilight rounds that we can't play once the days get shorter.

I'm not a huge fan of the gym, but I thought it might be a good time to introduce some strength training - or maybe some interval/circuit training. I haven't done strength training in YEARS, so I'd have to start with really, really light weights (or maybe body weight resistance to start).
Thanks in advance for your advice,


With the shorter days already fast approaching, it seems as though we are going to have less time which means we can’t put things off until later, because later means dark and cold, and your cozy couch will be calling you. That being said, finding momentum in your fall, and winter, workout routine will prove to be challenging.

My first piece of advice when making changes is don’t try to make the changes all at once. Trust me, this is a bad idea. You can’t go from having it all to having nothing, so slowly chip away at your bad habits.  Doing this will make it easier come fall, because you won’t really notice much of a change when you make the changes one at a time. I’ve said this a million times – one change a week equals 52 changes year. If you start now, come September 21st you are at least 4 changes in!

The next piece of advice, which goes along with the first one, is if you do have a relapse, in either one habit you are trying to break or all of them, do not panic! All is not lost. You just need to acknowledge what has happened and move forward, trying to learn from why you may have relapsed so it won’t happen again. Was it a delicious muffin for breakfast, rather than your now healthy option? And was that because you did not have what you needed at home to make your healthy option? Then after work, stop at the market and buy what you need to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Or, was it a glass or two (or three) of wine with your favourite dessert after dinner because you deserved it after a stressful day? Next time, reward yourself with a 20 minute relaxing walk after work, or a hot bath with a cup of tea. Find other ways to deal with your stress. Make sense?

In regards to your fitness routine, give it purpose. You’re a golfer so make your fitness about golf. Find a core conditioning class to attend, or download a core training app to your smart phone and do that two or three times a week. Hit the driving range once a week, if golfing a full 18 holes is not an option. And work on your flexibility, either stretching at home or in a yoga class. If your training has purpose then you are more likely to be consistent with it and enjoy it. 
I am always setting fall goals for myself that will start after Labour Day weekend, which helps to freshen up my fitness regime, as well as give me new incentives. This year I have decided to run a few half and full marathons, so my training now is about endurance. Over the winter it will be focusing on strength and endurance cycling to get myself ready for some big spring goals I have on my bike. Whatever your goals are, match your training routine to them, and if you don’t have goals then make some.

And my last piece of advice is record your progress. It does not have to be anything high tech, just simply keeping a journal of your training and your improvements will hold you accountable and allow you to see how far you are coming.