Sunday, January 21, 2018

Routines Rule

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Get into your routine now for an easier transition to the fall …

Stop lamenting summer’s end. Get busy preparing for the calendar’s next phase. With casual days and relaxed schedules coming to an end, it is the perfect time to get routine-ready. And healthy lifestyles love routines!

Take Advantage of Predictability

As summer fades, it often takes with it opportunities for spontaneity. Capitalize on having a more solid schedule. Your commitment to fitness is easier to uphold when your time isn’t scattered between work, road trips, and impromptu cookouts. Autumn’s predictability facilitates organization, including mealtimes, workouts, kids’ activities, and meetings.

Life picks up pace as we approach autumn. In doing so, we are required to formalize our daily schedule. Now is the ideal time to begin healthy habits and renew commitments to wellness.

  • Always accomplish a well-rounded workout.
    Always accomplish a well-rounded workout. Stretch.

    Restructure your workout to assure it contains all aspects of fitness, including strengthening, flexibility, and cardiovascular elements. Tackle them at every session. For the daily exerciser, alternate and spend one visit on cardio, one on strength training, etc.

  • As a new routine falls into place, see where you can carve time for additional exercise. Perhaps there is a slot open on Thursday nights for special walks at the park. Begin now and watch the landscape blossom into fall.
  • Train for a sport.
    Train for a sport.

    Consider learning a new sport. As Little Leaguers gear up, so can you. Don’t just watch the games, learn about them. Form a community adult team of your favorite sport. Add performance training to your workout. Play on weekends. (Quick– before they all get booked up!)

  • Schedule downtime. Prioritize this appointment with yourself. With everything else competing for a slot on your calendar this fall, you’ll need quiet time to refresh. It can be 10 minutes at day’s start or end, if that is all you can afford. Try to manage longer when possible. Perhaps leave one day a month when you have absolutely nothing scheduled.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Get into a healthy sleep routine. This includes allowing enough time for quality sleep each night. Take steps to make this happen. You probably won’t willingly halt your busyness to get ready for bed at a decent time every night. There’s always one more text in need of reply or another load of laundry. Good sleep habits take discipline, which comes easier when we’re back into a routine.

Mentally Prepare

With busier days ahead, maintaining low-stress levels is essential to happiness. Start now to develop a positive mindset. Use that scheduled downtime to cultivate gratitude, meditate, or indulge in a relaxing hobby. Learn how to breathe deeply from your core. Practice a favorite yoga pose. Burn calories and tension in a vigorous workout.

Start a morning swim routine.
Start a morning swim routine.

Find techniques to strengthen your relaxation muscle. Make them part of your routine now. When fall’s frenzy hits, you will have mastered strategies to help you cope, whether they include a morning swim or a peaceful coffee.

Physically Prepare

Exercise provides you with energy and stamina to make the most of your hours. Power through a high-intensity workout as an energetic emotional investment. Tame the irritated mind, and accomplish more in less time. After work, release the day’s frustrations for a smoother segue into evening responsibilities.

colored pencils, pic
End-of-summer bouquet.

Plan healthful meals and snacks. Stock up on staple ingredients to make these options quick and convenient. Buy in bulk; make personalized portions for meals and snacks on-the-go. Ideas: dried fruit, granola, nuts, cheese, and seeds.

Get your seasonal items before the rush buys them out. Whether kicking off a new school year or house/office cleaning, shop for supplies now to have them ready when needed. No one likes running out for folders the night before a presentation is due. Plus, take advantage of seasonal sales.

You’ve Got This

Look ahead! Don’t grip onto summer so strongly you miss planning for crisper, colorful days. There is a rhythm to each season. Embrace the fall, and its timely way of getting us into a routine– just before we’ve had one unpredictable day too many.

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