Woman working out at home

If you think about it, the change of seasons also means a change in our health & fitness routines. The outdoor activities we do in the summer are not necessarily the same as what we do in the winter. The key for a smooth transition is to make preparations ahead of time. This will help you maintain your fitness before the seasons abruptly change. Let’s look at some of the things you can do throughout the seasons to stay fit.

Strength training fitness

Build a strength training program in the fall

Towards late summer, we start to notice that the days are getting shorter. By early fall, our smart thermostats are turning on to heat our homes. Since you’ll be spending more time indoors, start a strength training program. There is a wide variety of home gym equipment to choose from. One popular choice are all-in-one home gyms. These machines give you the option to do various exercises for a full body workout—all in a single piece of equipment.

Another option are dumbbells and weight plates. New dumbbells are interchangeable, allowing you to select between 10 lb up to 90lb. Personally, I’m a huge fan of bodyweight exercise. If you’re just getting started, keep it simple and start with push up and chin up bars. Everyone should be able to do a chin-up and pull-up. If you can’t, fall is the perfect time to set up a strength training program to reach those goals. 

Add more cardio in the winter

jump rope

As the holidays get closer, we spend more time with loved ones. With that comes food. Let’s face it, we all eat more during the holidays. This is not necessarily a bad thing provided you offset those extra calories with more activity. During winter, I’m a big fan of jump rope fitness. I like jumping outside on cold days. Why you ask? Well to stay warm, I have to jump faster. That means I burn more calories just to stay warm. I’m like a little heater. I even use a fitness tracker that tracks jumps. If I eat a lot during holiday gatherings, the next day I make sure to jump longer. It’s one of the best ways to burn calories so get yourself a rope and jump!

If jump rope is not your thing, there are a wide variety of cardio machines to choose from. It really depends if you like to run, bike, or row. If you’re looking for a low impact cardio machine, consider an elliptical machine. It’s a good choice for people with joint and lower back issues. If you prefer biking but have back issues, consider getting a recumbent bike.

Get into beach body shape in spring

If you’ve done things right, you’ve gotten stronger during the fall and winter months without gaining too much fat in the process. As soon as spring rolls around, now’s the time to start thinking about changing your routine and getting leaner. Increase your activity and spend as much time as you can outside. I like to hike in the spring with friends. It gives us a chance to catch up and get extra steps in. 

Another thing I recommend is changing your commuting style. On nice days, take an electric bike to work or school instead. Keep the pedal assist low or off to burn extra calories. The great thing about electric bikes is the ability to shift between effort and assistance. You can go long distances and adjust your effort accordingly. Suddenly your daily commute becomes an extra exercise session. 

Having fun and staying active in the summer 

There’s something magical during the summer. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and everyone is outside. This is the time of year to pursue fun and active activities. I recommend people try water sports and boating activities. You spent all that time building a strong lean body, now’s the time to put it to use. 

Kayaks and paddle boards are great ways to be active on the water. If you prefer the great outdoors, summer is the time to combine camping and hiking. Pick camping locations that also have great hikes nearby. Hike in the day, cook and camp at night. Refresh your mind and body in the great outdoors. I also recommend you take this opportunity for a digital detox. We all need to do one at least once a year to reflect and live in the moment. 

man wearing fitness tracker

Track your progress through the seasons

One recommendation I have is to track your progress throughout the year. There’s two ways to do this. One is through fitness tracking. A smartwatch or fitness tracker tracks your steps, heart rate, sleep, and more throughout the year. Routinely look at your data and see if your activity changes through the seasons. If it does, plan accordingly next year. Another tracking method is with a smart scale. Our weight fluctuates daily but a smart scale can track and average your weight over time. This information is then sent to an app on your smartphone. Check your weight through the four seasons and adjust your diet or activity based on that data.  

Change of seasons means a change in fitness routine

Working out, exercising, or staying active is not an activity per se—it’s a lifestyle. As seasons change our lifestyle adapts accordingly. The secret is to not stop or start a fitness routine, but to change it. Understand ahead of time and prepare for seasonal changes. Home gym equipment is a great way to get strong during fall. As winter rolls around, increase your activity with an exercise bike, treadmill, or my personal favourite—jump rope. Go hiking and running in the spring and camp and hike in the summer.  

If you’re just getting started, read this fitness equipment buying guide. It will tell you where to get started. I also recommend you read this fitness and activity tracker buying guide. Tracking your progress will keep you motivated over time. Remember, now’s time to get serious about your health and fitness

Andy Baryer
Andy Baryer aka “Handy Andy” is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, and DIY/how-to content creator. Known as the handyman of tech, Andy enjoys fixing poor wireless networks, building smart homes, and cooking with the latest kitchen gadgets. He’s a competitive whistler, a budding woodworker, and loves gardening in his home-built smart garden.


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