by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
There are more ways to flavor your season than with caramel drizzle and brown sugar. As days grow shorter, here’s how to make the most of them …
Seize October’s brief lull before the craziness of the holiday season. Take time to acknowledge fall, for fall’s sake, and not the year-end festivities to which it leads. Use the season’s beauty to inspire healthy living. Somehow, it is easier to contemplate goals and evaluate progress in crisp air and autumn sunshine. Allow yourself some quiet reflection to prepare for 2014’s closing. It’ll be hard to come by once the holidays hit.
Take advantage of outdoor activities while weather is comfortable. Learn a new sport. Go for a hike through the woods. Walk through neighborhoods and towns. Plant a fall garden, and take time to enjoy it. When winter arrives, bitter temps and icy grounds can make it a challenge to escape among nature. Get outside now.
Use this time to include a new fitness class in your schedule. Group Fitness is launching their latest Les Mills™ routines. Find a favorite and make it a pre-holiday tradition. Schedule your re-evaluation with a personal trainer to set small but significant goals that can be accomplished over the next few weeks. Challenge yourself and approach 2015 with the resulting motivation.
Focus on fitness with small improvements to your routine. A personal trainer or fitness instructor can provide tweaks to your current workout that maximize your efforts. Incorporating weights into a cardio routine, or safely increasing the heart rate with segments of exercises performed in double-time, may offer more bang to the scale. Great news for all those upcoming treats you’ll probably enjoy.
Let the changing leaves around you be a constant reminder to keep your routine colorful. One exercise program, piece of fitness equipment, or class will not usually accomplish all your goals. Keep muscles confused and mind engaged with a workout that incorporates multiple tools and methods. A trainer can show how to be limitless in your endeavors while remaining in safe parameters.
Spice up Your Days
Fall invites us to get outside and tackle everything from apple picking to leaf raking. Get busy appreciating all the season offers.
- Pick apples or pumpkins. This outing can burn about 300 calories in 1.5 hours of picking. Perfect your squats while finding the perfect fall produce.
- Fit in a daily walk to complement your formal fitness routine. A one-mile walk can burn about 100 calories in only 20 minutes, a jog in about 10 minutes.
- Play outside. Throw a Frisbee, toss a football, kick a soccer ball. Get kids involved and ramp up the running. Moderate temperatures make outdoor adventures easier and more comfortable. No more excuses of the heat and humidity!
Work outside. A half-hour spent raking leaves can burn 50 calories. It’s also a great time to wash the car, clean out the garage, organize the shed, and have a yard sale. You may even feel motivated to clean the windows (or not).
- Enjoy hot beverages. Tea and coffee are loaded with antioxidants. Recent findings prove green and black tea to be equally beneficial in nutrients. Some studies have reported coffee to lower risk of certain cancers. Sip on a steamy cup today. Keep sugar and milk additives minimal to avoid drinking down excess calories.
- Use the time change to your benefit. The end of Daylight Savings Time gives us an extra hour. Use it to sleep, not catch reruns of a late-night sitcom. Fall is a natural segue into more rhythmic days. Now is the time to commit to a sleep schedule that allows eight luxurious hours a night.
- Create your own yoga poses as you prune shrubs, trim trees, and clean up flower beds.
- Serve up fall’s bounty. Fresh fruits and veggies are often associated with summer. Wake up and smell the super foods of fall: apples, pumpkins, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, and root veggies like carrots and beets. Incorporate these into recipes for fresh, flavorful nutrition.
“Healthy Fall: 7 Reasons Why Autumn Is Good for You,” at huffingtonpost.com.
Apple picking (introductory photo): www.flickr.com/photos/masstravel/12435343464
Fresh produce: www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/5707559422
Raking leaves: www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/6236445696/