Every 12 weeks, you should be changing something about your fitness program. For my clients, Labor Day signals the beginning of a new fall cycle. Summer is over, the kids are back in school and life is settling into routine – Now is the time to get back into the swing of things!

If you were active during the summer, great! All you have to do is change a few things and keep your fitness schedule this Fall.

Intensity – If you were doing mostly steady state cardio work, switch to some interval training several times per week.  If you were doing a lot of interval or high speed stuff, switch to lower intensity and longer duration at least twice a week.  Ditto with strength work. If you tend to go light with high reps, now is the time to increase the weight and back off the volume a little.

Mode – If you have been taking the same set of classes, sorry to say, but its time to switch out some of your favorites for a while. You can always go back in 12 weeks, and your body will thank you. If you only do Zumba, try a cycle or step class instead. If all you do is cycle, try a Total Body Conditioning Class to mix it up. The possibilities are endless and now is the time to join a class you have been meaning to try.

Exercise Selection – If you usually hop on a treadmill, switch to stairs. Ditto elliptical. Changing your movement pattern will change your body and keep joints healthy and fresh. The same thing goes with the weight room. There are hundreds of exercises to choose from, doing the same ones over and over will guarantee stagnation. Incorporate fun balance exercises into your strength work in order to maximize sculpting.

Nutrition – Summer was fun, but now its over. Obviously there is always room for improvement and change up in the diet. Remember, you are going to want to relax and enjoy the holidays, so now is a perfect time to clean it up and drop a few pounds.

If you fell off the wagon (hey, it was summer) then it is time to get back to it! Don’t let another Fall week go by without adding some type of fitness activity into your schedule. Any type of exercise will do since you haven’t been doing anything at all. Don’t try to do it all in one day, however! Ease into your fitness program slowly, stay consistent and allow your body to adapt to the new workload. You will be back at it in no time!

Article was originally published on Jerny Rieves’ website and has been republished on SmartFem with Jerny Rieves’ permission.