How to find your fitness mojo this autumn

How To Find Your Fitness Mojo This Autumn
It’s not always easy to find the motivation to exercise as the seasons change. Photo: Collins
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By Imy Brighty-Potts, PA

With the dreary weather and darker days of autumn upon us, it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise when a winter of hibernation lies ahead.

Temperatures are dipping, and chances are lots of us are ready to cosy up at home after a busy summer.


“We’re all simply exhausted,” says Howth-based yoga and Pilates coach Ana Stefan, who focuses on mindset and mindful movement at The Aligned Body Coach. “It often feels like we’ve piled so much on our plates during the summer months.”

There are so many benefits to keeping active through the colder months, however. So, how can you find your fitness mojo?

Create a new routine

If the change in seasons has left you feeling rudderless, exercise could be a way of creating a new sense of routine.

autumn run
Determined to stay active this autumn? (David Cheskin/PA)

“Consider working out in autumn as a fresh start, a chance to hit the reset button on your body and rebuild those healthy habits,” says Stefan. “It’s also an opportunity to claim something just for yourself, something that is entirely yours.”

Unsure how to make new habits stick? Stefan suggests starting with these helpful hacks: “Replace ‘I have to work out’ with something positive like ‘I love the post-yoga feeling’, or ‘I’m grateful for the ability to move like this’.

“Habit stacking is a brilliant strategy. For instance, if you’re a bit stiff in the morning, create a quick stretching routine before your morning coffee,” she adds. “Associating it with your coffee ritual will transform it into a habit in no time. Affirmations are also potent – set a weekly goal and make it your screensaver, so you’re reminded every time you pick up your phone.”


Think about the mood-boosting benefits

Many people find their mood dips as the days get shorter. The reduction in sunlight can impact our body clocks and minds – which makes staying active even more important at this time of year.

“Exercise or having a consistent movement routine isn’t just about your physical wellbeing,” says Stefan. “We need to address the big elephant in the room: depression and feeling low. We know that movement can boost your dopamine levels and it can also help you connect with others.”

So, why not take the chance to work-out with a friend or join a class – and boost your fitness and social connections at the same time?

Find something you love to do indoors

woman in gym
Find something you love to do indoors (Danny Lawson/PA)

From gym sessions and dance classes to swimming at the local pool, there are plenty of things you can do indoors activity-wise to keep fit. And if you have something you love to do that’s always sheltered and dry, you can’t use the weather as an excuse!

“When it’s pouring outside, my go-to is Pilates,” says Stefan. “It requires minimal to no equipment, can be done anywhere, and it quickly strengthens your whole body. It’s gentle on the joints, while simultaneously toning and lengthening your muscles. You’ll always feel more balanced and a bit taller after each session.”

Get out and explore 

That said, there’s a lot to be said for filling your lungs with fresh air too – providing you dress for the weather and it’s not too wet and wild!


And remember, exercise does not have to be strenuous – just walking is a good way to improve your mood and get fit.

A walk counts as exercise (Danny Lawson/PA)

“A long walk while tuning in to your favourite podcast is a personal favourite, especially in the rain. If possible, head to the seaside or, even better, go for a forest walk,” says Stefan.

“Ireland has some of the most gorgeous forests and parks and in autumn, the colours are breath-taking. The beauty of nature and the crisp, fresh air are guaranteed to uplift your spirits.”

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