As I look out the window, all I can see is darkness and rain, autumn is most definitely here and with Winter to follow there are a good few months of this to come but do these seasons bring us a time to stay in doors and hide or an opportunity for growth? These are the seasons of self-development.
As autumn sets in and the days get shorter, wetter and colder.
There seems to be less happening, and we find ourselves almost going into a hibernation mode.
We stay in more during the week; we watch more TV, when we look out of the window the last thing we want to do is go outside.
That is only one way of looking at the situation.
By now you have your fitness goal, and you have your WHY, and I am here to tell you that autumn and Winter bring a great opportunity, time!
With less to do and fewer people around, there are fewer distractions and more free time to work on goals, get to the gym or start a new hobby.
With fewer distractions in the evening, we have more time to reflect, learn and grow as a person.
Here are my top five ways to Raise the Bar on your personal development and health and fitness goals over the autumn and winter months
1) Exercise & Nutrition
Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, and this time of year is an excellent opportunity to start that fitness or body goal that you have been putting off.
Watch these blogs, watch my videos, make a goal, get a plan, find you’re why, workout, eat well and utilise the time you have.
Eating a balanced diet of good nutritious food will not only have you feeling great but will supercharge your immune system over the winter months
Exercise will help you to feel fitter and stronger, and will also increase your immune system, fight off illness and release endorphins which will keep the winter blues at bay.
2) Start a hobby
So now you have started the training plan you always wanted to.
But you still have more free time, excellent why not start a new hobby.
When you look, there are a lot of indoor activities and groups going on around the place.
Is there something you have always wanted to do, or can you find a new activity that appeals to you?
Dancing is one of my favourite hobbies as they say Dancing heals the soul.
It’s a great way to meet people, instil confidence, and it’s also great exercise.
Find something you love to do or want to start, seek it out and start today!
The internet gives us a massive opportunity that just wasn’t there in the past.
You can learn anything you want online form exercise to dance to academic subjects and degrees.
Training programs, nutritional and mindset advice and courses are all over the web, use this new free time to follow a course, listen to audiobooks, read blogs or watch youtube and learn a new skill.
Reading is an exercise for the brain, and there are a whole lot of benefits that come with it.
Non-fiction can help you understand other cultures learn new things and improve personal development.
Or grab a fiction novel and drift away into another place.
Autumn and Winter also indicate the ending of another year; this is a great time to stop, sit with yourself be quiet, look back and reflect on the year just past.
What were the highlights of the year? What were the low points?
What did you achieve? What could you of achieved but didn’t?
Think about the good and the bad, and start looking forward and planning your goals for next year.
Autumn, Winter and the gym
For me, from a training point of view, this time of year allows me to focus on weight training, strength and size.
I always feel a bit conflicted with the gym in the spring and the summer.
Even though I am a redhead, I love the sun, and when it makes an appearance I love getting out and about and doing pretty much anything outdoors, going to the gym seems a waste of good sunlight.
These days I know what I can get outside to get the same result, but I really enjoy lifting weights and this time of year (autumn, winter) allows me to double down on that type of training without the lure of the sun.
To bulk or not to bulk?
Autumn and Winter also indicate “bulking season” The time of year where lifters “eat big, train big and get big” hence the word bulk.
Let’s face it, most avid gym-goers, go to the gym to not only be fit and healthy but also to look great.
Over autumn and winter, less flesh is on show in general, so there is less need to be as lean as possible and more opportunity to let yourself go a little fluffy to reap the rewards of the muscle and strength gains that come with it.
I have a love-hate relationship with bulking season as I love eating and training for size and strength but find that I always end up overdoing it slightly on the fluffiness and feeling less body confident as a result.
There is a fine line when it comes to bulking on just how far you let yourself go and ensuring that bulking doesn’t become an excuse for eating junk and letting your nutrition go out the window.
See the opportunity this time of year brings and start that hobby or body goal that you have been putting off for so long.
Lousy weather and dark evenings give you an excellent opportunity to double down on your training and use it to get in the best shape of your life ready for the spring and the summer.
Autumn and winter do bring an excellent opportunity in the gym to change focus and try and maximise strength and size (if that’s what you’re into) but ensure you have a plan and you are tracking as you go.
It is vital to stay in control and manage your bulk so that your bulk doesn’t take control of you!