As much as I am a sunshine and pool girl, I do love the fall! Between football and falling leaves, to pumpkin spiced everything and cuddling under blankets, fall is definitely a close second to my favorite time of year. As today officially brings in Autumn, I thought it would be fitting to write about staying fit in fall. Typically we think of those food-laced holidays in fall such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, usually resulting in snug jeans and self-criticism. However, I am all about seeing Fall as the New Spring. That being said, by the time Christmas rolls around, you won’t be squeezing into any jeans .
5. Food. Fall is a great season for some amazing produce such as apples, squash, and pumpkin to name a few. As one of the fall fitness pillars, I challenge you to incorporate some of these seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet while honing in on your nutrition. When push comes to shove, there really is no rocket science when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Majority of us know it is important to eat real food, lean protein, have moderate alcohol consumption (if any), and avoid sugary, processed foods. A disconnect occurs between knowing and doing, but awareness is over half the battle! Why not begin this fall by revamping your nutrition a little bit? It doesn’t have to be a competition diet meal plan, but it can be a small tweak here or there to further your fitness goals this fall. That can be swapping out your sandwich for a salad at lunch or trading in your post dinner dessert for hot tea and some berries. Do your best to limit processed and packaged foods. Spend sometime on the weekends planning and preparing meals for the week.
4. Walks. Not all cardio has to be run yourself ragged cardio. Besides, how likely are we to stick to a plan if it crushes us after week one? Probably not too likely. Those of you that know me, know I am pretty intense when it comes to exercise, but over the years I have come to value the benefits of getting in walking as an accompaniment to my exercise routine. Getting in a daily walk is a great way to increase your physical activity level, improve your mindfulness, and regulate blood sugar (to name a few benefits). I mention mindfulness, because often stress can become a culprit to our energy, and in turn has a physiological effect in our bodies, raising stress hormones, making it harder for us to lose weight and ignore our cravings. By making time to walk everyday, we are essentially making time to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. I challenge you to get in daily (or almost ) daily walks this fall and to disconnect a bit from technology.
3. Weights. This has to be one of my favorite ways to get and stay in shape this fall: the weights! Weight lifting is one of the best things you can do to transform your physique, bone density, self-esteem, body composition, and metabolism to name a few. From 2-3 total body workouts a week to a 5-day split, the weight room can provide something for everyone, from the weekend warrior to the everyday gym goer. I think often, with women especially, there is a misconception that lifting will cause one to bulk up or gain weight. That couldn’t be further from the truth. (Food tends to do that to us, not weights J). Another misconception I have run across is that weight training is painful. (My mother used to think the whole goal of me training someone was to punish them J- so not true!). You might experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after training, which is actually a good thing, it’s essentially your muscles repairing after lifting. However, as your training progresses your experience with DOMS will typically decrease. If you have questions or are interested in lifting, be sure to send me an email and we can get something started!
2. Hydration. OK, this one is hitting the nail on the head: water is your best friend! The fall can be a tempting time to over do it with the booze – between football weekends to holiday parties, those liquid calories can do a number to our fitness goals. Not too mention all of the specials run at our favorite coffee shops with pumpkin spiced lattes (loaded with sugar and cream). I am not saying you have to ward off everything, but what I am saying is that if you aren’t mindful of your liquid intake, it can really have a negative impact on the progress you have been making in other areas of your health. My favorite three beverages in the fall: water, black coffee, and tea. This isn’t saying I don’t enjoy a glass of cab once in a while, or a vodka soda on Saturdays but I do limit my alcohol consumption and am mindful of it.
1. Journal. This might seem silly, but it’s honestly one of the handiest tools. Think about it. How many times do you open up WAZE or GoogleMaps to direct you to your destination? Think of your journal as your road map. Take time to write down your bottom line, or objectives on the first few pages of your journal. After that, moving forward, write down the steps you take day after day to get there. This doesn’t have to be a tedious task, but it should require some thought and effort. Why? If it is something you are dedicated to, you are likely to spend time and energy with it and working towards it. Have fun with it, it isn’t a perfect path, but I am sure between now and Christmas, you will have a pretty fun ride and interesting journal if you take time now to commit to your health!
And there you have it! 5 ways to make fall your fit season! Here goes to the next three months! Keep me posted along the way!
I love hearing from you, be sure to tweet or facebook me your fitness goal for this fall and hashtag #FallisthenewSpring!