Five Tips to be Fit for Fall

September 12, 2018

Jumpstart to Fitness for Any Lifestyle, U/D Approved


Summertime spells fun for the entire family, especially in and around University District. Between weekend barbeques, visits to the ice-cream parlours, and the lingering nights on the patio with a glass of wine, it’s easy to forget about the feel-good workouts at the gym. Beautiful weather means more activities outdoors, like day-trips to the Rockies for hiking or paddling at nearby Bowness Park. Now with back-to-school schedules, dedicated office hours, cooler weather and even Halloween (with all its tiny tempting treats to eat)  around the corner, we think it’s a great time to regroup and recharge by focusing on fitness and you. Let’s get set for a healthy Fall!


When life gets busy, fitness tends to drop on our priority list. But at University District, we feel that staying active at any age is important for a healthy body and mind, all the time and all year round. No matter what kind of fitness piques your interest, there’s always an opportunity to include exercise  in your schedule. It’s time to make YOU a priority – personal time to be healthy and active is part of the U/D life!


This month, we met with our friend and neighbour Michael McDonald of Orangetheory Fitness to chat about some easy-to-follow tips to help parents and grandparents, professionals, retirees, and/or students incorporate fitness into their daily routines no matter how busy life gets. Read on to see what Michael suggests.


1. Schedule. Schedule. Schedule.


Make a schedule and commit to it! Put your exercise time on the calendar just as you would the kids’ swimming lesson, meetings at the office or date night in NW Calgary. When you don’t schedule that all-important workout in, it is the first thing that gets dropped or missed. This is you time!

Tip: For the parents, trade off workout times with your partner or a friend. Take turns watching the kids to carve out some exercise for you both, or include your kids in your workout. It’s never too early for children to learn. Another great option is to find a health club that offers child care so you can stay focused on your workout without distractions.  


Interested in trying a different workout routine? Take a look at our U/D approved fitness classes in Northwest Calgary



2. Make Workouts Efficient with a Plan


Pick a workout plan that you can do almost anywhere, whether you’re travelling or getting home late from the office. Maybe save the two-hour hike through Nose Hill Park or golfing with friends at one of Northwest’s five golf courses for the weekend. Choose a form of exercise where you reap the benefits in a short period of time. High-intensity interval training, tabata training, group fitness classes and bodyweight exercises are all great choices to get your heart pounding and muscles burning.

Tip:  Seek advice from a professional to build a plan tailored to your fitness goals, body type and weight, and lifestyle. You can also attend a fitness facility like Orangetheory Fitness that designs the programs for you every day. All you have to do is show up, work hard and leave feeling energized!


Meal planning is just as important as planning for a workout. Carve out a couple of hours into the weekend to prep some healthy meals for the week.  Not sure where to start? Check out our fall meal prep guide that includes a weekday meal plan the whole family will love! 


Ready to feel the burn? Check out Orangetheory Fitness’s Royal Oak studio in NW Calgary. Photo Credit: Orangetheory Fitness


3. Cater to Your Likes and Dislikes


Whether it’s squeezing in that last rep or staying in that yoga pose for 10 more seconds, we’ve all been there. It’s tough but make it easier on yourself by choosing a form of exercise that fits your lifestyle, personality and interest. Not sure what you love to do? Don’t be afraid to experiment! Try out different forms of exercise until you find what’s right for you.  One person’s cycling is another person’s weight training, dance or soccer.

Tip:  First time at the gym or just getting back into it? Start your new exercise regimen with activities you enjoy instead of doing something for the sake of exercising. You should love it and have fun! As you build your exercise routine, challenge yourself every time just a little bit more. Sprint that last mile or add another rep at the end of your set so you can really feel the burn and reach workout euphoria. It’s a great feeling when you’ve pushed yourself just a little further.



4. Find a Friend or Community


A workout buddy can keep you accountable and motivated. When a friend calls to say “Meet me at the gym for pilates” or “Let’s go for a hike today,” it’s that much easier to go out and be active.  Enjoy the experience and company as it helps you become more committed to your fitness routine. Or, if you’re interested in meeting new Calgarians while staying active, join a gym that offers group exercise. Or, consider Playcity, an app that brings people together through play – meet for pick-up soccer, basketball and ultimate frisbee. Whatever your motivation might be, it’s pretty rewarding when you receive a high-five from the person next to you after cycling up that epic hill or getting through that last set of burpees!

Tip:  Have kids or grandkids? Combine playtime and exercise so the kids are part of your daily activities and fitness plan. Enjoy a fun game of basketball, soccer or even hopscotch to get your blood pumping. At the playground, join the kids in playing grounders and practice swinging on the monkey bars. If your “kids” are four-legged and furry, go for a stroll, run, or bike ride and finish your outing at our new 1/4 acre urban dog park.


Who says kids get to have all the fun? Get outside and get active! Check out our Guide to NW Calgary Playgrounds for all ages that include a list of NW Calgary outdoor fitness gyms. 



5. Track Your Workouts


Have you heard the saying “if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist”? It’s a slight exaggeration, yes, but this saying has some truth to it, especially when it comes to fitness. Whether inside an Orangetheory studio, big box gym or outside, tracking your workouts allow you to see progress over the days, months and years. Measuring your activity levels and keeping notes on your progress can help you stay motivated and on track.

Tip:   Keep a training diary (apps and notebooks work great) to monitor your progress.  If you are weight training, write down the weight and repetitions for each exercise.  If you are exercising to lose weight, keep track of your weight loss.

See you on the track or treadmill, pool or path, boxing bag or ballet barre! Do you have a tip that works to get fit or stay motivated? A fitness success story?  Or a question for the wellness pros at Orangetheory Fitness? Let us know!

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