Even for the those who have been out of school for years, fall signifies new beginnings. It also means it's time to get down to business.
Now that the vacations are done and the social calendar is slowing down a little before the holidays arrive, you're better able to start some new healthy habits to carry through the year. Here are six ways to have a successful fall for your health and wellness:
1. Revamp your diet.
From the barbecues to the hotel buffets, we throw all that pre-summer dieting out the window in the summer months. Take a look at your diet and examine how you feel to make healthy changes for fall. Are you taking a multivitamin? Do you get enough calcium? The fall is also one of the best times to check out the farmers' market. You can everything from zinc-packed pumpkins for brain health to heirloom tomatoes full of the antioxidant lycopene to fight free radicals. Shop, cook and enjoy the entire rainbow and you'll help prepare your body to take on the winter by strengthening the immune system and supporting gut health. Getting a grip on your eating habits now will also set you up for success during the holidays, when most of us pack on a few pounds, or more.
2. Refresh your exercise routine.
Exercising outside during the summer can be uncomfortable if it's too hot, but the milder fall temperatures can make it a lot more enjoyable. Walk, run or play a sport to get your blood flowing and your heart up every single day. If you're ready for a change, try something new for fall, like yoga or kickboxing to make it exciting again. While that 1,500 lunge and crunch routine you count on to get you bikini ready may be effective, you could get bored of it and your muscles will also eventually bored with it, stalling your results. Variety keeps your body guessing and helps you burn fat and build lean muscle.
3. Enjoy some football.
Wait, how is this healthy? Well if you're a football fan, you have a reason to get together with friends and family for something you enjoy, which boosts endorphins and helps reduce stress (well, depending on your team). It may also mean you end up in the yard or on a college campus throwing the ball around, which can help you squeeze in some exercise it to burn calories. Just don't blow it all on beer and hot dogs and try to be active during the game. If you're watching at home, get up and move at every commercial break or, if a friend or family member is rooting for a rival team, turn it into a game -- for every touchdown your team scores, your opponent has to do burpees, jumping jacks, pushups, etc. and vice versa.
4. Show your immune system some love.
So you survived allergy season, but now you're dreading cold and flu season. Get your immune system ready with antioxidants and probiotics. Antioxidants like vitamin C help your body fight off free radical damage as well as threats of bacterial and viral infection. Probiotics help balance the good and bad bacteria within the gut to strengthen immunity and also support proper food breakdown for optimal nutrient absorption. You can find both in supplement form. If you feel a cold or the flu coming on, try some echinacea or elderberry to boost your body's defenses. They may be able to shorten the duration of your illness. Olive leaf is another supplement that works similar to an antibiotic within the body.
5. Set a sleep schedule.
Summer nights can be unpredictable. You check out an outdoor concert or head to a bonfire after work and suddenly it's midnight before you're in bed. Choosing a bedtime and sticking with it has numerous health benefits including less stress and improved weight management. Some tricks to get you there include leaving all technology (aside from your clock) out of your bedroom or setting up your alarm clock across the room so you have to get up in the morning to turn it off instead of snoozing. Valerian root is a great supplement to promote relaxation and sleep. Lastly, try adding in meditation or some stretches before bedtime to get you mentally prepared.
6. Decide on a goal.
The start of a new season is a great reason to set a goal. Use the milder weather to begin training for a 5K or marathon or make an effort to cook more with all those goodies you scored at the farmers' market this week. Try a creative outlet, like starting a blog or decide to journal each night. Focusing on something outside of work can take your mind off the stresses of the day and help you get excited about the months to come.
One healthy habit to bring into fall and winter with you from the hot summer months is applying sunscreen daily. The sun's UVA and UVB rays don't become less harmful once bikini season ends, so apply your sunscreen daily, reapplying if you'll be outdoors for an extended period of time.
Shop for everything you need to get healthy this fall at eVitamins!