There’s something about the cooler mornings, the falling leaves and the bright colors of this season that brings an additional element of beauty to our daily lives. Fall is a great time to secure your motivation to stay healthy and fit. Especially as the cooler mornings progress to frigid and the snow starts flying. Here are ten creative and fun ways to stay fit this fall.
1. Soup’s on! Enjoy the bounty of the summer harvest and crock-pot your way through the colder days. Summer and early fall veggies make incredible soups and baked dishes. Search for new recipes to try and share the warmth with family and friends.
2. Find your fit. Each individual is motivated by something different. What motivates you? Is there a fall event you wish to train for? Or a new boot camp-style class you want to try? Choose something you enjoy. If you enjoy the activity, you’re more likely to see the commitment through to the end goal.
3. Dress for the occasion. Cooler temperatures require warmer clothing options. Sometimes, it’s simply the lack of appropriate attire that decreases the motivation to take a walk or get some fresh air. Treat yourself to a few new items that will keep the chill at bay.
4. Practice mindfulness. The lazy days of summer are behind us, and the fall season means kids are in school, athletic events are frequent and holiday parties are on the horizon. This all translates into one thing – perceived chaos. One way to battle the stress is to practice rejuvenating techniques such as a massage, meditation, cognitive restructuring or focused breathing exercises. Whichever method you choose, practice it daily and commit to keeping the stress levels in check.
5. Make friends with nature. Fall hikes are absolutely gorgeous. Take advantage of the changing landscape and spend some time being active outside.
6. Look for ways to be active. Create opportunities to be active. If you attend sporting events for your kids, spend part of the walking and watching versus sitting in the stands. Or, make a game of raking leaves and prepping the house for winter months. Activity doesn’t have to be structured to be effective.
7. Boost vitamin D. Sun exposure helps our bodies manufacture vitamin D. If your sun exposure is limited and/or if you tend to feel the winter blues, boost your production of vitamin D with a sun lamp. You can also take a supplement, but please check with a physician or dietitian before doing so.
8. Create a challenge. A challenge results in change. Give yourself a new 30-day challenge to accomplish something you want to do. Is it a 30-day yoga challenge or a 30-day bicycle challenge? Make it a friendly competition with yourself or a friend.
9. Hydrate. Cooler temperatures don’t always make us feel as thirsty as we do when it’s warm, so we can easily become dehydrated. Keep water with you and take advantage of warm beverage season by enjoying cups of tea.
10. Rest and boost the immune system. Fall is the time when sick bugs tend to find their way into our bodies. Be sure to rest when you aren’t well so that you can recover quickly. Take steps to boost your immune system with necessary vitamins and a balanced diet.
Erin Nitschke is a health and human performance educator, NSCA-CPT and ACE Health Coach who lives in Sheridan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.