The hot humid temperatures of summer can be hard to handle when you are just starting to exercise. Winter is incredibly cold, icy and snowy (for those of us in the Northern half of the country anyway). Spring is often bogged down by mud and rain. What about fall? It can be the perfect season to incorporate some outdoor exercises because of its mild temps and weather patterns.
Not only does fall give us mild temps, it also gives us something beautiful to look at while we are walking or running outdoors. It can be really relaxing to go for a long walk, unwind, and look at the pretty colors fall has to offer. Spending time exercising outdoors is also a great way to combat the winter blues that accompany the shorter daylight hours.
Aside from exercising, fall is the perfect time to get into a new food routine. It typically takes 30-60 days for a person to develop a new routine. This would make it the perfect time to begin eating better so your newly found habits are well established before all those Holiday parties take a toll on your waist. It can also help you set up fitness or weight loss goals. Instead of binging from now until New Years, you could start your new routine now. With commitment you could be wearing smaller sizes for your family gathering over the Holiday season and enjoy all the compliments coming your way.
Fall is also when many of us moms get back into routine after summer. Trying to have better habits is nearly impossible when each day your schedule is different. We can use this time when the kids are at school to concentrate on ourselves and our health.
It may be easier for you to stay committed if you are able to incorporate good habits into things you already do. For example, if you walk your children to the bus stop every morning, keep walking after the bus picks them up. If you meet them after school, start walking 15 minutes before they are expected to arrive so you can sneak in an afternoon workout. This will also help relieve stress so you can focus more on your children after school.
As for food, you may benefit from doing one small step at a time. Often “crash” diets result in failure because it is too big of a change. You are left feeling hungry and deprived. Instead of focusing on taking things out of your diet, you may find more success adding healthier options into your meals. Focus on adding more fruits and vegies with every meal. If you typically eat 3 vegetables per day, try for four. You could plan on adding some seasonal vegetables to your weekly menu, such as squash and pumpkin.
If you are like me and enjoy salty snacks, put down the chips and opt for carrots or another crunchy vegetable. It will keep you full longer because of the fiber each has to offer. Not to mention they are much lower in calories and fat than potato chips.
I hope this post has given you motivation to begin a healthier lifestyle this fall. Keep in mind to take it one day at a time and don’t get discouraged if you have an off day. Sometimes the most effective lifestyle changes are the ones that happen slowly.