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4 Ways to Beat the Fall Backslide

Pay attention to the signs that your fitness routine may be getting derailed.

Now that the sun is set by the time you get home from work and you’ve replaced your shorts and tanks with fall running gear, it would be very easy to take a step back from your summer exercise routine. Let’s call it the fall backslide—that feeling you get when it starts dropping below fifty degrees at night, and you could go to the gym but staying inside and watching the latest buzzy Netflix documentary sounds so much more appealing. And if it doesn’t seem like a huge deal to miss a workout or two, you’re right: it’s not a huge deal. At least not at first.

The problem for most regular gym-goers is what can happen after the first few slip-ups, says Dina Hirsch, Ph.D., senior psychologist at the Center for Weight Management in Syosset, New York. In the fall, she says, people may give themselves “passes” for what they see as minor errors (a skipped fitness class or two, a Halloween candy binge), but when the holidays come around, the risk is letting those little slips become a complete avalanche. When we’re so focused on winter being the time that healthy habits fall by the wayside, we miss the signs that things are starting to drop off right now. And right now is the time to catch yourself and keep your summer momentum going through fall—and beyond. Here, four ways to do just that.