Fall is a great time of the year. The scents of cinnamon, cloves, and garlic fill the air along with crisp air, burning leaves, and pumpkin. The air is cooler, you’ve settled into your school year routine, and you’ve got a little breathing room before moving into the holidays. After the hustle and bustle of the summer, fall is a great time to slow down–but it’s also the time of year when you start to give in to temptation, relax, and stop paying attention to your health and wellness routines. Instead of letting your health start to slip this fall, follow these steps to increase your wellness all year long.
Enjoy Healthy Fall Foods
Fall brings with it plenty of great produce that you can use to freshen up your meals and keep your body fueled. Try incorporating pumpkin into some of your favorite dishes. It’s great for more than pie! Squash, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, and cauliflower are also abundant in the fall months. Take advantage of all the great scents of all and add cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to your food for a health boost.
Fall is also the time of year when many people start preparing more soups, stews, and chili in an effort to ward off the chill in the air. Broth-based soups, rather than cream-based, are often healthier, and filling your soup full of fresh or frozen vegetables is a great way to get in more nutrients. Try making your own bone broth with the bones left over from other meals to add even more nutrients to your meals.
Feeling the need to bake some sweet treats as the air gets cooler? Don’t let the fact that sweater weather is coming tempt you into packing on extra pounds. Instead, look for lighter, healthier versions of your favorite treats. Applesauce makes a great substitute for oil and butter, and using flax seed instead of eggs will help reduce the calorie count of your favorite dishes.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
If you have kids, especially older kids, fall is filled with activities that keep you out late. School projects, sporting events, and other events take their toll, shortening your sleep and leaving you grumpy and tired the next day. If you’re starting to feel the sleep deficit, follow these rules for a better night’s sleep.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. If you’re finding that you’re out late more often than you’re home, it might be time to cut some activities out of your schedule.
- Design a solid bedtime routine for every member of your family. Whether it’s a warm bath, cuddling up for songs and stories with the kids, or sitting around and chatting for a few minutes before bed, that ritual will let everyone know that it’s time to get some sleep.
- Make sure your mattress isn’t to blame. If you’re tossing and turning and can’t get comfortable, your mattress might not be working for you! Contact us to find out more about choosing the perfect mattress for a great night’s sleep.
- Turn off all of your electronics at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light coming from the screens will convince your brain that it’s still time to be awake, making it difficult to fall asleep when you do turn off the light.
As you develop better methods for getting a great night’s sleep, you’ll find that you feel better rested, healthier, and happier than when you’re running here and there, trying to “catch up” your sleep on the weekends. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest this fall to help ward off cold and flu germs!
With the hot days of summer gone, you aren’t able to spend your days swimming anymore. Chances are, you’re spending less time outside, and you aren’t as active as you were through the summer. Getting plenty of exercise, however, will help keep you healthier, improve your sleep patterns, and help your body fight off illness. Try some of these strategies for getting in the exercise you need this fall.
- Go for a long walk. The cooler air will make it much more pleasant to get outside than walking in the summer.
- Pick a class that will get you excited to head into the gym. Try out kickboxing, Zumba, or spinning: whatever sounds interesting and will get you moving. The commitment of paying for a class is a great way to motivate yourself even when you don’t necessarily feel like exercising.
- Choose a workout video that works for you. The best thing about workout videos is that you can do them from the comfort of your own home, whenever they fit into your hectic schedule.
- Commit to meeting a friend for a regular exercise session, whether you’re going to the gym or going for a run outside together. Your best bet is to choose a buddy who will motivate you to succeed, pushing you to show up even on the days when you don’t want to go.
Sure, it’s tough to get moving, but once you develop a routine, you’ll find that you miss it when you don’t get your workout in. Find an exercise schedule that works for you and stick with it to watch your body grow stronger, tougher, and healthier.
Reduce Your Stress
Did you take on too much at the beginning of this school year? Are you all too aware of the fact that the holiday season is just around the corner? If so, it’s time to set the stress aside and make a new, healthier habit. Find ways to reduce stress in your life. Exercise and getting enough sleep are both ways to reduce stress, but for some people, that’s not quite enough.
Create a calming ritual and a period of time that’s just for you each day. Whether it’s getting out of bed a few minutes earlier to enjoy some quiet time alone with your first cup of coffee or coming home and relaxing for a few minutes before you dive in and fix dinner, that calming ritual will significantly lower your stress and make you feel renewed and refreshed.
Periodically, take the time to do something for yourself. No matter how busy your schedule is, taking the time to take care of you makes you a better spouse, parent, employee, and friend. Think about what helps you relax most and find a way to work it into your schedule. Buy a new book, spend some time at a spa, or go for a long hike to be alone with nature: whatever makes you feel calmer, more at ease, and more connected to your mind and body.
It’s easy to put off your wellness habits during the fall. Swimsuit season is past, the holidays are coming, and it seems like too much effort to make new resolutions and commit to better health and wellness. You shouldn’t have to wait for the new year to make a better, healthier you! Instead, dive in and make some changes this fall. You’ll love the benefits: looking better, feeling better, and staying healthier even when it seems as though everyone around you is fighting off illness are well worth the effort you’ll put in.