Seasons of the Physical Fitness Year

Seasons of the Physical Fitness Year

September 1st brings us the first day of the meteorological season of "Fall." It also brings us the first day of the physical fitness season of "Indifference." This is the most dangerous, unproductive, and damaging season of the physical fitness year.

The Physical Fitness year has three seasons: Motivation, Maintenance, and Indifference.

Well, it’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, leaves are starting to fall and football season is cranking up. September 1 st brings us the first day of the meteorological season of “Fall.” It also brings us the first day of the physical fitness season of “Indifference.”

Oh, you didn’t know that the Physical Fitness year has seasons just like the Meteorological year. Well, it does. The meteorological year has four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. The physical fitness year, on the other hand, has only three seasons: Motivation, Maintenance, and Indifference.

The season of Motivation starts precisely on January 1st and goes until the end of April. The season of Maintenance starts at the beginning of May and goes until the end of August, with May being a transition month. The season of Indifference starts in September and goes until the end of December, with September being a transition month.

You will notice that the Motivation season has no transition month. There is a good reason for that. This season is the most intense and productive of all the physical fitness seasons. It is the season of dedication, hard work, effort, commitment, and intensity. It is a time when we take a good look at ourselves and say, “Enough! No more!” It’s when we get back to seriously focusing on all the things that make us healthy: strength training, cardio, diet, rest, and nutrition. Just like the furnaces and fireplaces burning in our homes at this time of year, the fire of motivation burns deep within us and drives us forward. For the average person, the main purpose of this season is to successfully get to the next season, the season of “Maintenance.”

This season is the reason we work so hard in the previous four months. It is a time when we back off a bit to celebrate our achievements and enjoy ourselves. During this season we attempt to do enough to maintain the gains we have achieved. However, our workout frequency and intensity reduce. Our dietary rules loosen, and rest becomes secondary to fun. The month of May is the transition month for this season. Over the course of this month, the focus and intensity in our lives gradually moves from hard work to enjoyment.

Then, we get to where we are now. The season of “Indifference.” This is the most dangerous, unproductive, and damaging season of the physical fitness year. It is the time where we not only lose all our previous gains, we gradually, regress beyond that to a physical state of personal embarrassment!

September is the transition month for this season. Labor Day marks the official end of summer activities and our need to “maintain.” The shorter days promote a lazy change to our lifestyle. We are indoors much more, and our activity level significantly decreases. From the middle of September until the end of December the focus of most people’s lives is on food. It starts with Oktoberfest and progresses through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, with celebrations, tailgating, parties, dinners and, overeating in general! Our desire to exercise and control our diet diminishes as that little voice in our head tells us that the previous eight months of diligence earned us the right to enjoy a bit of relaxing time off.

Most people snap out of this mindset with the start of the new year and the beginning of the season of Motivation. Unfortunately, many do not. That is why it is tremendously important to dedicate yourself to fighting through this season. Fight to resist the urge to relax, overeat and decrease your physical activity, particularly in the transition month.

Try to eat only natural, single ingredient foods that are free of any chemicals, additives, or preservatives. That means fresh fish, meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Use spices that are chemical and additive free. Minimize or eliminate alcohol. Eliminate all processed foods and sugars.

After consulting your physician, to see if it is appropriate for you, try to do the following things. Stop eating or consuming anything, other than water and medication, at least three hours before you go to bed. Try to put 10- 12 hours between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day. Unless medically necessary, don’t snack!

If reasonable, use the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator. Park farther away from a destination than you normally would and walk. Add any form of simple physical activity to your daily regimen.

A set of Shelter Fitness resistance tubes are an irreplaceable tool for this time of year. You can use them anywhere and anytime it is convenient. They can be used at home while standing, sitting, or laying. They can be used on their own or, with the convenient door anchor, at multiple heights. Keep an extra set in your car and use them whenever the opportunity presents itself. If you can, keep an extra set at work for use during breaks or lunch.

These are simple, common-sense things that can help get you through the season of Indifference with minimal damage. We are all human and have human weaknesses. Recognizing and acknowledging this fact is the starting point for fighting, and defeating, “Indifference!” Now turn off the television, get off the couch, and get moving!!!

Always remember that Shelter Fitness is here to help you! We can provide top quality, commercial grade products for any level of physical activity you choose. We are excited to have the opportunity to become a part of the journey to improving your physical health!


I am currently retired and no longer a practicing Chiropractor, nor do I hold a current professional license in the medical field. The information presented is solely based on my experiences as a professional and for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician prior to any new or changing fitness endeavors. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities promoted by this site.

Author Bio - Dr. Andrew J. Lucas

Practiced for more than 30 years as a Chiropractor in Washington, Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

Graduated from Waynesburg College (now Waynesburg University) in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

Graduated in 1985 from the National College of Chiropractic (now National University of Health Sciences) with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology.

In 1989 he successfully completed the Diplomate program for Orthopedics through the postgraduate division of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.